Sad News

Sophie the sea lion. Photo credit: Smithsonian National Zoo
Sophie the sea lion. Photo credit: Smithsonian National Zoo

I am devastated to report that Sophie the sea lion was found dead this morning. She was only two years old. The cause of death is still undetermined, and she seemed fine the night before her death. This is a huge loss, and my thoughts are with the entire Smithsonian Zoo family. Sophie was a beautiful, playful animal who brought great joy to everyone who visited her. She especially enjoyed interacting with children, much to their delight. Sophie had many more happy years ahead of her, and will be greatly missed.

I have been having crying spells ever since I heard the news, and don’t know how I am going to tell my children. We all loved her, and my boys consider her a very special friend. We first met her in February when she played with my youngest son, who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and it truly was one of the most incredible, beautiful experiences of our lives. A video of  the encounter received some media attention and provided an unexpected opportunity to spread Autism Awareness. We were finally able to go back and visit her just two weeks ago, and my children played with Sophie for over an hour. I am so glad we got to see her one last time, and can’t believe she is gone. I am absolutely dreading telling my children the sad news.


Sophie, we will miss you so much! Thank you for being our friend.


5 thoughts on “Sad News

  1. rgemom May 9, 2014 / 5:25 PM

    That’s so sad. Sending you thoughts and hugs.


    • Jennifer (Seriously Not Boring) May 10, 2014 / 8:17 PM

      Thank you. Today is better, but we are still a bit sad. It may seem silly to some people that we were so attached to an animal at the zoo, but she was exceptional and we had spent a lot of time playing with her. So glad we had the chance!


  2. stevi May 10, 2014 / 5:31 PM

    My little sister had the same experience and I posted a video on the Zoo’s facebook page. I was in tears and so was she. 😦


    • Jennifer (Seriously Not Boring) May 10, 2014 / 8:18 PM

      I am so sorry you and your sister were so sad, and I understand completely. Sophie brought joy to a lot of people! And it makes me feel better to know that I wasn’t the only one in tears.


  3. Full Spectrum Mama May 27, 2014 / 4:46 PM

    Oh dear, oh dear, so sorry to hear this. Seals, sea lions and sea mammals have been a “special interest” in our family since my G threw his sippy cup to the seals in the Central park zoo as a declaration of deep love at first sight when he was one..”.Ark, ark” to you all(this is one way we say “I love you” and more in our family!),


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