TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) _ The Toledo Zoo says a gray seal that performed tasks for the U.S. Navy in the 1970s has died.

The male seal named Neptune died earlier this week and was about 36 years old, well above life expectancy. The zoo says aging issues, including a thyroid tumor, may have caused the death.

From 1975 to 1978, Neptune was one of many seals, sea lions and dolphins that assisted the Navy in tasks such as retrieving tools and equipment for divers, identifying mines and locating submarines.

The Navy donated Neptune to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut in 1978, and he arrived at the Toledo Zoo in 1999.

One male and two female seals and two harbor seals remain at the zoo in its Arctic Encounter exhibit.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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