Zoo Heidelberg, in Germany, now has the pleasure of witnessing the daily antics of two new Southern Sea Lion pups!
The girl, ‘Arielle’, and boy, ‘Carlos’ were born in July. Arielle was born to mother, Maike, much to the relief of the keepers, who had previously witnessed two of Maike’s stillbirths. Carlos is the third pup born to mother, Leah, and both Sea Lion babies were sired by Atos.
The Sea Lion pups spent their first few weeks of life on land. After their first molt, the pups began to follow their mothers into the water and start swimming lessons. Arielle and Carlos enjoy daily ventures into the pool and practice their Sea Lion skills with diligence. As they grow, it will become easier for them to remain under water for longer periods of time.
Southern Sea Lions are classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. They are native to South America, along the Pacific coast of South America, from Peru to Tierra del Fuego, and along the Atlantic coast to southern Brazil. Zoo Heidelberg works in cooperation with Yaqu-PACHA, (Society for the Protection of Aquatic Mammals in South America), in an effort to protect these wonderful creatures in their native habitat.