ST. LOUIS (AP) - A star sea lion at the St. Louis Zoo has died.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Bennie the sea lion died Friday. He was 11.
Zoo spokeswoman Susan Gallagher says tests will be done to determine the cause of death. She says the sea lion had been lethargic and eating poorly for several days.
Bennie was born at the zoo's Sea Lion Basin in 2002 and had been part of the Sea Lion Show for seven years. He was known for kissing onlookers, from average visitors to movie stars and Cardinals ballplayers.
Bennie was also in a 2012 television commercial announcing the opening of the zoo's then-new Sea Lion Sound. The ad won a Brass Ring Award in Marketing Excellence.