Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

THE VINE MAGAZINE - LOCAL NEWS: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s keepers have a couple of exciting new additions to care for, with the arrival of two California sea lion pups.

Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Two California sea lion pups born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

 

Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s keepers have a couple of exciting new additions to care for, with the arrival of two California sea lion pups.

Adventurous male pup Hanno was born to first-time mum Lara on Sunday 10th June, while the more laid-back male pup Oakley was born to second-time mum Bailey on Saturday 23rd June.

 

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After giving birth at the UK’s largest Zoo, ten year old Lara and eleven year old Bailey have taken to motherhood swimmingly, and are already proving to be doting mums to the lively pups.

Team Leader Tim Savage is overjoyed at the new arrivals and said: “The first pup was immediately so curious and adventurous, we decided to name him Hanno, after the fifth century oceanic explorer. At night he goes on little missions and explores the sea lion house!

Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Hanno: Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

“Lara’s always been the cheekiest member of the group, but she’s so attentive with Hanno, never letting him out of her sight. Every time Hanno tries to go near the water, she pulls him back. This isn’t Bailey’s first pup, so she’s much more confident and relaxed. She leaves Oakley to snooze while she goes off for a swim.

Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Oakley
Oakley: Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

“They’ve both had a little splash in the pool, but neither of the pups are strong swimmers yet. Over the next month they will learn to dive, and practice holding their breath, and soon visitors will see them confidently swimming around the pool with their mums, and dad Dominic.”

Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Oakley
Bailey and her pup Oakley

Covered in fur, the pups will eventually grow to be over two metres long. The new pups are a valuable addition to the colony of California sea lions at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and the European conservation breeding programme for the species. Originating from the rocky coastlines of the Pacific Ocean, all along the west coast of the USA, California sea lion(Zalophus californianus) live in large colonies, led by a dominant male and his harem of female mates.

Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Oakley

Tim continued: “After a birth, male sea lions guard their harem of females, which means they do not leave to get food. Although Dominic has no competition and plenty of food available to him here, he acts in exactly the same way, fasting for a month and making a lot of noise to show this is his territory! Don’t feel too bad for him though, he prepared for his fast by eating lots before the births!”

Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Oakley

Summer visitors to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will be able to see Hanno and Oakley learning to swim alongside the rest of the sea lion clan. Visit www.zsl.org to find out more.


The Vine Dunstable - June July 2018 COVER LO RES

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Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Sea Lion Pups Make A Splash At ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

1 comment

  1. Maria Angela Nightingale

    Just adorable <3 xxx

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