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Orphan Pups Find a Home at the Mystic Aquarium

Three playful sea lion pups, all rescued separately from harbors in Southern California, have found their way to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. The only male pup was originally found malnourished and suffering from pneumonia and was treated and released by the Marine Mammal Center. Unfortunately the little California Sea Lion kept returning to the beach and finding his way to crowds of beach-goers (or them to him). Either way, after three restrandings, it was determined that life at Mystic would be a good fit for the little guy.

Baby sea lion pup in bucket mystic aquarium 2

Baby sea lion pup in bucket mystic aquarium 1

Three baby sea lions at aquarium

Check out the pups in high spirits in their new home.

Got a suggestion for a name for the boy or two girls? Submit your suggestions here (and let ZooBorns know if you win!)



Three pups, all just one year old, arrived from California in May;
New names to be announced during first birthday celebration

MYSTIC, Conn. (July 28, 2009)— Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration recently welcomed three California sea lion pups and wants the public’s help in naming them! Starting today, the aquarium is holding a contest to find the perfect names for the playful pups – one male and two females – that arrived on May 16. The chosen names will be announced during their first birthday party on August 27 at 11 a.m. at the aquarium.

The contest consists of several parts. First, the public can submit name ideas through the aquarium’s Web site,, through August 12. From these suggestions, the aquarium’s animal care staff and celebrity judges – WFSB-TV meteorologist and “Better Connecticut” co-host Scot Haney, Miss Connecticut 2009 Sharalynn Kuziak and UConn Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Calhoun – will choose five finalist names for each pup. From August 17 to 24, the public can go back online to vote for their favorite names. The winning names will be announced on August 27 at the pups’ first birthday celebration, featuring cake for guests and a fish “dessert” for the pups.

“We are thrilled to have the pups here,” said Dr. Tracy Romano, senior vice president of research and zoological operations for Sea Research Foundation, Inc. “Our guests will be able to watch them develop physically and through their training, and learn more about these intelligent animals. The naming contest also provides the perfect opportunity to tell these pups’ stories and remind everyone of the important animal rescue and rehabilitation work that Mystic and other aquariums around the world do. We encourage the public to submit name ideas that reflect these pups’ stories.”

The male pup was approximately six months old when he was rescued in Morro Bay Harbor in San Luis Obispo County and brought to The Marine Mammal Center in December 2008. He was treated for malnutrition and pneumonia and released back into the wild, but re-stranded several times, and was found surrounded by people. Even after being relocated, the pup found his way back to Morro Bay, where he remained for several days and lost more weight.

The two female pups come from SeaWorld San Diego’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Program. One was rescued in February at Ocean Beach in San Diego and the other from Oceanside Harbor in Oceanside in January. Both pups were malnourished and dehydrated. All three recovered well during rehabilitation and were brought to the aquarium for enhancement of the species.

The pups will remain permanent residents of the aquarium and are currently housed in the Aquatic Animal Study Center, which can be viewed from the Gurdon and Kathy Wattles Marine Mammal Observatory. The male will eventually join the other California sea lions in the aquarium’s daily Marine Theater shows, and the two females will join the Steller sea lions in the Pribilof Islands exhibit.