Just days after SeaWorld San Diego debuted an hours-old California sea lion pup, the park announced Saturday that the pup has passed away on Friday.
The pup, named Little Gem, was born prematurely on Tuesday after her sick mother was rescued from an Oceanside Beach, according to SeaWorld.
Little Gem appeared to be in good health in her first few days of life, but SeaWorld staff knew her long-term health would be “tenuous at best,” according to Communications Director David Koontz.
SeaWorld staff had been bottle feeding Little Gem because her mother was too ill to nurse her. Little Gem’s mother showed symptoms of demoic acid toxicity upon her rescue, according to a SeaWorld spokesperson.
The park was planning on nursing both sea lions back to health so that they could be reunited.
SeaWorld says a necropsy will be conducted and a cause of death may be determined.
Little Gem’s mother is still recovering.