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ST. LOUIS – One of the Saint Louis Zoo's beloved sea lions has died.

Eleven-year-old Bennie, one of the stars of the zoo's First Bank Sea Lion Show, died Friday afternoon. A spokesperson for the zoo says he had not performed for the last two weeks and was under veterinary care.

Bennie's cause of death will be determined after a necropsy and histopathology by the zoo's pathologist. Full information regarding his death is not expected for several weeks.

Part of the Sea Lion Show for seven years, 500 pound Bennie happily kissed celebrities and even average citizens attending the show. The zoo says he will be remembered for his "loving nature, remarkable performances and high spirits."

Sea Lion Shows will continue as scheduled. Admission is $4. Children under 2-years-old are free. For show times and more information, visit the Saint Louis Zoo's website.

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