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The Kaliningrad Zoo creates “hospice” for the world’s oldest sea lion

As consulting veterinarians and directors provide care during the final days of 30-year-old sea lion Kim, Kaliningrad Zoo director Svetlana Sokolova says 30 years is already a record for long-living sea lions whose care is recorded in ZIMS. Photo credit: Kaliningrad.Ru

On medication to reduce inflammation and joint pain, Kim has already begun to eat again and slowly swim says Director Svetlana Sokolova. “This is a ‘hospice’ for a sea lion.”

The Kaliningrad Zoo is providing 30-year-old sea lion Kim with “hospice care” to ease and comfort his final days. Kim is suffering inflammation of the jaw, as well as joint pain that makes it difficult for him to get in and out of his pool.

After a veterinary team evaluation and consultation earlier this week, it was decided to improve the quality of life during Kim’s remaining days and weeks, according to zoo director Svetlana Sokolov.

“He is being given antibiotics and pain relievers to relieve inflammation and pain. And he has already begun to eat again and slowly swim. This is a ‘hospice’ for a sea lion,” she said.

Sokolov says that Kim is already 30 years old, according to the international Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS). The oldest living sea lions previously recorded within ZIMS died at the age of 28 and 29 years. The average life expectancy of male sea lions in nature is 18-20 years in the wild and 20-25 years in captivity.

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