Seal & Sea Lion

Four Sea Lion Pups Share Spotlight –and the Same Dad

Sea lion pup Hellabrun Zoo
When four California Sea Lion pups were born in a single month at the Munich Zoo, park officials were ecstatic.  The pups were each born to different mothers and include three females, named Mona, Melly, and Momo, and one male, named Max. 

What’s even more amazing is that all four pups were sired by Barney, the Munich Zoo’s prolific adult male Sea Lion, who has already sired a record 28 offspring.  Barney got a head start on fatherhood because he became sexually mature at age three – two or three years earlier than the average male Sea Lion.

The Sea Lion pups are already perfecting their swimming techniques in the zoo’s Polar World exhibit.  Thanks to the rich milk produced by their mothers, the pups will grow dramatically in the first year of life.  By the time they are fully grown, the females will weigh over 200 pounds and the males will tip the scales at up to 800 pounds.

Sea Lion pup Hellabrun Zoo 1

Sea Lion pup Hellabrun Zoo 2

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One Boy Plus One Girl Make Two Baby Sea Lions for Blackpool Zoo

One male and one female California Sea Lions were born at Blackpool Zoo in on June 2 and 9 to first time mothers Anya and Gina respectively. Both the Sea Lion pups are doing well and are now out and about, taking their first tentative dips in the pool under the watchful eye of their mothers and the rest of the harem.

Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Co-ordinator at Blackpool Zoo said, “The names of our two Sea Lions are Spanish in origin and Rubi, which translates into Ruby, has been named as such because she was the 40th baby to be born in the year we celebrate our 40th anniversary.”

Sea Lions are recognized as endangered, with many species on the brink of extinction. Several reasons have led to their decline in numbers around in the world. It has become illegal to hunt, harm or kill a Sea Lion but that doesn't necessarily prevent that from taking place. Conservation groups are working hard to educate the public about the need to protect them. And there are now laws in place to help protect their natural environments. 





Photo Credit: Blackpool Zoo

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Baby on Deck! Sea Lion Pup Born at Pittsburgh Zoo


It’s a girl! Sea Lion mom Zoey gave birth to her second pup at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium; her first baby is 3-year-old Sidney. “At first Zoey was very protective of the baby,” says Henry Kacprzyk, curator of Kids Kingdom and reptiles. “But after a couple of days, Zoey relaxed enough to let the other sea lion members near. Especially curious were Sidney and Sophie, another young sea lion, who kept trying to get close to the pup but were chased away by mom.”

She weighed in at 18.4 pounds, a healthy weight for a newborn sea lion. “As long as the baby is continuing to nurse and vocalize with mom, we won’t interfere,” says Mr. Kacprzyk. 

In the coming weeks, the pup will learn to swim. “Pups instinctively know to start paddling in the water, but being young, they tire easily and need mom to help out,” says Mr. Kacrpzyk. “Zoey is always right there with the pup and helps if needed. We also put little steps in the pool that the pup can use to get out of the water.”


Photo Credit: Paul A. Selvaggio

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See This Sea Lion Baby at Dublin Zoo


It's a boy! Dublin Zoo is celebrating a new male Californian Sea Lion pup born in the early morning on May 22. The pup weighs approximately 6.5 pounds (3kgs) and joins his mom Seanna, his 3-year-old sister Flo, and Cassie, another female sea lion in their habitat.

Team leader Eddie O’Brien, said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the birth of this pup. I’m delighted to say that Mum and pup are doing very well. Sea lion’s milk is so rich in nutrients and fat that our new arrival will grow very quickly.”

Californian sea lions are born on land and without the ability to swim so for the first day of his life, the pup’s mother stayed with him on land. On day two, Mum led the pup to water and taught him how to swim. Californian sea lions are fast learners and the pup has become a comfortable swimmer after just a few days. However his mother still keeps a close eye on him when he is in the water.



Photo Credit: Dublin Zoo

Name an Orphan Fur Seal Pup!

Fur Seal Pup Front and Center

A few months ago, this tiny Northern Fur Seal pup was found alone in a tangle of seaweed on a beach in California, severely underweight and blind in one eye. His coat was in poor shape, mottled with orange under fur showing where his dark brown guard hairs should be (you can see this in the photos). This means it would be hard for him to stay warm in chilly ocean waters. Luckily the youngster was rescued by a marine mammal program in Santa Barbara. After careful examination, it was determined he could not be returned to the wild. 

The New England Aquarium, which already had five other Fur Seals as companions, stepped up to welcome this seal in need. The pup arrived at the Aquarium via FedEx on May 19, weighing about 20 pounds. For now he'll remain behind the scenes at the New Balance Marine Mammal Center so trainers can make sure he’s comfortable and eating well. The addition of the young pup makes the New England Aquarium’s Northern Fur Seal colony the largest of any zoo or aquarium in North America.

Fur Seal Pup in Profile

Fur Seal Pup Looking for Attention

Fur Seal Pup ScratchingLike a good Fur Seal, he spends a lot time grooming his thick fur coat. Fur Seals are the second furriest animals on the planet with 300,000 hairs per square inch!

This little guy needs a name! Have a suggestion? Submit your entries for the naming contest before 5:00PM Eastern on Tuesday (5/29/12)

More great photos after the jump

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Stranded Seal Pup, Probably a Preemie, Gets a New Lease on Life!


Meet Olympia. On May 2nd, this young Harbor Seal was found stranded in Haines, AK. Haines Animal Rescue Center quickly got authorization to rescue her after searching the area for other seals. Olympia then made a last minute flight to Juneau where veterinarian Rachael Berngartt, D.V.M. stabilized her for further transport to Alaska Sealife Center.

Olympia has a white lanugo coat, an indication that she was born prematurely. Tim Lebling, ASLC Stranding Coordinator, stated, “It is likely that Olympia was abandoned by her mother, as we commonly find that seals abandon their premature pups.”  Olympia is currently in “good but guarded” condition, and will be cared for until she can be released back into the wild. She ASLC's first stranded Seal in 2012.



Photo and Video Credits: Alaska SeaLife Center

Olympia is currently being fed five times a day with a milk matrix created specifically for harbor seals that contains all of the nutrients and calories she needs to grow.  

Read more about Olympia and see more pictures beneath the fold...

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Baby Seal Takes the Plunge Minutes after Birth

Harbor Seal Pup and Mom 1

Most Harbor Seals give birth to their first pup at age four or five, but mother Shelby just had her first baby at age 16! The female pup was born April 26 in the Aquarium of the Pacific's Seal and Sea Lion Habitat. The little girl weighed around 20 pounds at birth. The pup appears to be healthy and behaving normally. As you can see in the first video below Harbor Seal pups can swim immediately after birth!

Staff members are currently allowing the mother and pup to bond and will continue to monitor the animals. Aquarium staff members closely monitor the health and well-being of all of the Aquarium’s animals on a continuous basis. Shelby’s pregnancy was discovered during a recent exam by Aquarium Veterinarian Dr. Lance Adams. Husbandry staff members determined that keeping Shelby on exhibit in her normal surroundings would be the best option for keeping her comfortable during the pregnancy.

Baby Seal Loves Instagram!Habor Seal Pup and Mom Instagram 1

Harbor Seal Pup Aquarium of the Bay 1
Photo 1 and 2 credits: Terri Haines. Photo 3 credit: Hugh Ryono

Pup's Birth and First Swim!

Flipper Fight!

“Since Shelby is a first-time mother, she does not have experience rearing young. The Aquarium’s marine mammal experts will be watching Shelby’s parenting skills to ensure the pup is receiving the proper nutrition while Shelby and her pup begin to bond. The staff is cautiously optimistic, as seal pups are at the highest risk during the first few weeks of life,” said Dudley Wigdahl, the Aquarium’s curator of marine mammals.

Follow the pup's progress on the Aquarium's blog.

Meet Riley the Seal Pup!


 On December 11, Moody Gardens welcomed a newborn harbor seal! Mom Presley and her pup have spent their short time together bonding through activities like nursing and exploring their exhibit.

“Nursing and sleeping are healthy behaviors for a pup. Right now Riley is curious about the environment and is quickly adapting to its surroundings,” said Animal Husbandry Manager Greg Whittaker. “Since there are just more than 100 harbor seals in captivity: this birth and Riley’s health is important to the entire species.”

Riley is not only an exciting birth for Moody Gardens, but also for parents Porter and Presley who first met in 2006. Porter, who was rescued near death off the coast of Maine after being abandoned by his mother, made his home at Moody Gardens in 2001. He had been bottle fed and nursed back to heath by workers at Marine Animal Lifeline, but after an infection destroyed his eye biologists decided Porter would not be able to survive in the wild. Five years later, Presley joined the Moody Gardens family after her caretakers at Memphis Zoo determined the young harbor seal needed a companion.

Although Presley and Porter have conceived in the past, this is the couple’s first successful birth and Porter have conceived in the past, this is the couple’s first successful birth.


Photo credits: Moody Gardens


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Sweet Sea Lion Pup in Pittsburgh

Sea pup -mom

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is barking with excitement over the birth of their new Sea Lion pup! Callie, a 6-year old California Sea Lion, gave birth to the pup last Friday in a behind-the-scenes area. 

“Both mother and baby are doing very well,” says Henry Kacprzyk, curator of KidsKingdom. “They are communicating and the pup is nursing. Callie is a first-time mom, but she is doing very well. We think that Callie, having watched both Zoey and Maggie with their pups, has learned how to care for her pup. Right now, she is being very protective while and she and the pup rest on the deck. She barks aggressively if she thinks keepers are getting to close,”  Mr. Kacprzyk continued. “The other Sea Lions are keeping a safe distance until Callie is comfortable with them being near her pup.”

Keepers will not interfere with Callie raising her pup unless they suspect the baby isn’t nursing or communicating with mom. The mortality rate for Sea Lion pups is 10 to 15 percent in the first month, so keepers and vet staff are keeping a close eye on mother and baby.

Sea pup face

Sea Lion Pup June 20112 x

Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Zoo/PPG Aquarium

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Meet Merlot, the Orphan Harbor Seal Pup

Merlot the baby seal pup at Alaska SeaLife Center 1

Merlot was found on the mudflats outside of Tyonek, Alaska this past Saturday morning. There had recently been a storm in the area and rescuers spent the day trying to find the pup's mother. When none was found, the little girl was flown up to Anchorage and then driven down to the Alaska SeaLife Center. When she arrived she was less than 48 hours old and only weighed 7.5 kilos (16.53 lbs.)

Merlot the baby seal pup at Alaska SeaLife Center 2

For those of you experiencing déjà vu, Alaska SeaLife Center rescued another young Harbor Seal, named Gouda, two weeks ago. ASLC is naming all of their rescues this year after wines and cheeses!