Center’s Pregnant Sea Lion Had Cancer

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Preliminary necropsy results on the pregnant sea lion that died at the Alaska SeaLife Center last month show she had pancreatic cancer.

Kiska was nearing the end of her pregnancy term when she died suddenly. The veterinary staff was not able to save the pup either.

Ian Dutton is CEO of the Alaska SeaLife Center. He says she likely had the disease before she became pregnant, but it’s not unusual that the staff wouldn’t have caught it.

Dutton says the cancer was certainly a factor in Kiska’s death, but more tests will determine whether there were other contributors.

He says the test results may help staff at the SeaLife Center develop disease indicators that could make it easier to detect cancer earlier in the future.

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