With a very heavy heart, Dolphins Plus announces the loss of Wono, our adult female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). At 25 years of age, Wono lived an amazing life and touched the lives of many of our guests. Recently diagnosed with an aggressive mammary cancer, Wono served as an inspiration to human cancer patients as she underwent X-rays, biopsies, surgical removal of the tumors, and oral and IV chemotherapy. Due to the generosity and financial support of the Borguss family, as well as Mariner’s Hospital, who generously donated some of the more expensive medications that helped regenerate Wono’s white blood cells, Wono was given a fighting chance to beat this cancer.
It is with great honor and sadness that we bid farewell to our girl, Wono. She was one of a kind and the most gentle of souls. Due to Wono’s extensive training for diagnostic procedures in concert with all of the valuable medical information learned from Wono, our training and veterinary staff are confident that other sea lions will benefit from the information learned from her. A special thank you goes out to Kyle Lane, Dr. Robert Stevens, Dr. Natalie Noll, Dr. Mike Renner, Dr. Jo Fava, each of Wono’s sea lion training team (past and present), and the Borguss family for the loving care, amazing medical attention, and impressive training they provided Wono over the last quarter of a century. We love you, Wono, and will never forget you.