Oregon Zoo euthanizes oldest male sea lion

Oregon Zoo euthanizes oldest male sea lion
An underwater view of a sea lion in the Stellar Cove exhibit at the Oregon Zoo.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Sad news from the Oregon Zoo on Sunday: A 26-year-old sea lion named Julius was euthanized.

Julius was put down "following a decline due to complications related to his advanced age," according to a news release from the zoo.

The sea lion was born in July 1987 and came to Portland from Connecticut's Mystic Aquarium in 2000. At 26, he was the oldest male Steller sea lion in any U.S. zoo or aquarium.

The news release said animal-care staff had been monitoring and treating Julius for a variety of age-related ailments, including arthritis.

Zoo staff said his condition deteriorated and, not wanting him to suffer, they decided to euthanize him on Sunday.