The Animal God giveth, and the Animal God taketh away.

Not long after the birth of the World's Cutest Giraffe, an old soul has left the Houston Zoo: Deano, a 26-year-old sea lion who was dedicated to entertaining kids and lovin' the ladies.

"Deano was such a charmer. We are missing him so much right now. He was very special to us and to Zoo guests," said Beth Schaefer. the zoo's sea lion curator. "Although he was a sea lion senior citizen, Deano was very playful and enjoyed interacting with his keepers and the other California sea lions at the Zoo."

Deano was working a marine park in Hawaii when the Houston Zoo -- well, let's allow them to tell the sordid tale:

Deano came to the Houston Zoo as a proven breeder male and was introduced to the Zoo's two young female sea lions, Cali and Kamia. While breeding activity was observed this summer, we will not know until next summer if conception occurred.

Oh, conception occurred, you can bet. Unless Deano didn't want any shorties messing up his retirement years and took precautions.

Death Of A Ladies' Man: R.I.P., Deano

A while back Deano underwent surgery for cataracts (We're sure he looked great in the shades). But he didn't let that cramp his style.

He came back and "was spending his days barking at Cali and Kamia and getting to know our newest addition to the group, Astro a young male who arrived a few weeks ago," said Schaefer.

Hmmm. Maybe we don't want to go there. We're sure it was just something to do with blurred vision.

Anyway, we sincerely hope Deano's seed is firmly planted in Cali or Kamia. And that it's a boy, and that he has his Dad's style.

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