The El Paso Zoo is mourning one of its most beloved animals, Sushi, the female sea lion. Sushi had been at the zoo since 2004 after being rescued as an abandoned pup in Oceano, California in 1999. She died Wednesday after being sick for a short time. Sushi was unresponsive when she was found in her behind the scenes pool by zookeepers. They and veterinary staff tried to revive her but could not.

Zoo officials say they will be doing a necropsy, histopathology, and extensive testing to determine the cause of death. Zoo Director, Steve Marshall, said the zoo family is "extremely brokenhearted by Sushi's sudden death."

The sea lion program is one of the most popular at the zoo. Kids loved Sushi because of how she playfully made faces at them and interacted with them. Zoo officials say she also served as an ambassador at the zoo for sustainability. Part of her show involved informing guests about how to buy sustainable seafood, recycle, and reducing plastic trash in the oceans.

Rest in peace, Sushi. You'll be missed.