El Paso Zoo to honor Sunny the Sea Lion Tuesday

The El Paso Zoo and the El Paso Veterinary Medical Association will commemorate one of the City’s most beloved and iconic animals, Sunny the California Sea Lion, with an induction ceremony to the Animal Hall of Fame.

“We are so happy that Sunny is receiving this honor that he so deserves as he was a joy to everyone who took care of him and everyone who came to visit him,” said El Paso Zoo Collections Supervisor Amanda Leverett.

“We still miss his endearing nature, his subtle mischievousness, and his obvious love of life. He was a special companion and an outstanding ocean ambassador for generations of people that were lucky enough to know him.”

Sunny passed away in 2012 and will be remembered with a plaque at the newly renovated interactive Animal Hall of Fame display that is located at the zoo and sponsored by the El Paso Veterinary Medical Association.

Sunny touched the lives of thousands of visitors from 1986 to 2012 through his lovable and friendly charisma.

Sunny is most notable for being the first Sea lion at any zoo to teach visitors about recycling by demonstrating how to put the correct items in a recycling bin.

The adorable sea lion served as an ambassador for ocean conservation by helping staff promote and distribute more than 100,000 seafood watch cards.

Established in 1998, the El Paso Animal Hall of Fame (AHoF) recognizes the outstanding contributions animals make to human lives in the El Paso community.

The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21, at the zoo.