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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

December 16, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Chewbacca, Seattle Aquarium seal, dies

Chewbacca, a northern fur seal, came to the Seattle Aquarium in February.

Chewbacca, a northern fur seal, came to the Seattle Aquarium in February. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Chewbacca, Seattle Aquarium’s northern fur seal, has died following surgery he underwent  last week.

The 13-year-old male seal, known at the aquarium as “Chewy,” seemed to be recovering from an operation last Thursday that removed a mass from his gastrointestinal system, but he died Sunday morning, according to the aquarium.

In the wild, the average lifespan for a northern fur seal is 10 to 15 years.

Chewbacca was born at the New York Aquarium and transferred to Moody Gardens in Texas in 2011. In February he came to Seattle, home to one of three facilities in North America that exhibit the species. The other two are in Boston and Mystic, Conn.

With his death, 10 captive northern fur seals remain on the continent.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Chewbacca, seal, Seattle Aquarium

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