Denver Zoo mourns Frosty the bear, welcomes sea lion pup

Call it the circle of life.

This week, the Denver Zoo mourned the loss of a polar bear named Frosty and celebrated the birth of an effing adorable baby sea lion named... well, nothing yet.

The baby is a very talkative girl whose vocalizations, as heard in the video below, sound sort of like a monster throwing up -- but cuter!

The video features the baby's proud mama, Luci, who was born at Sea World in Florida and came to the Denver Zoo in 2003. The baby-daddy, Nick, moved (or was moved?) to Denver from California in 2008. No-Name-Baby is the first offspring for the both of them.

According to the zoo, it takes twelve full months to make a baby sea lion. First comes the uh, you-know. Then, there is a three-month "delayed implantation," where the embryo just kind of hangs out before deciding to implant in the uterus. (Are you paying attention, Denver public schoolchildren? This is free sex ed!)

Then Ma and Pa Sea Lion wait nine months. When baby sea lions are born, they can see and vocalize (as evidenced in monster-throwing-up video above). But they can't swim for a week or two. Especially after eating lunch.

Denver's baby only weighs fifteen pounds. Someday, she'll weigh 195 to 230 pounds. And maybe she'll be friends with the zoo's other sea lions: Gidget, Pam and Bismarck.

But she won't ever get a chance to be friends with Frosty the polar bear, who died yesterday of liver cancer at the age of twenty-five.

And Frosty won't ever get a chance to you-know with Cranbeary, who returned to the zoo last month. Her summer plans included swimming, eating fish and doing it with Frosty.

Our condolences, Cranbeary. And RIP Frosty. After zookeepers determined that Frosty's quality life had deteriorated to a point where he was never going to get better, they euthanized him.

"This is never an easy decision, but it was the right one," says senior veterinarian Dr. Felicia Knightly.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar