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Zoo Vienna Welcomes South American Sea Lion Pup

On July 15, a male South American Sea Lion pup was born at Schönbrunn Zoo after a gestation period of almost a year. Young South American Sea Lions can swim and dive from birth. The offspring have already made their first swimming attempts together with the group - always at the side of their mother, who takes good care of them. “Sea lions are excellent swimmers and can dive underwater for up to 15 minutes. For the little one, it's all still a bit exhausting, so they sleep a lot now. He is suckled by his mother for the first 6-8 months, only then do sea fish such as herring, mackerel or sprat appear on his menu. As an adult seal, it will eat around six kilos of fish or even more per day. However, it will be a few years before the young male has reached his father's impressive weight of over 300 kg," reports Zoological Department Head Folko Balfanz.



South American Sea Lions originally live on the coasts of South America. Males have a distinctive mane. Because of this mane and their loud roar during the mating season, these animals are also called "sea lions". South American Sea Lion bulls keep a harem that they constantly monitor. "Since the beginning of the summer, after a two-year break due to corona, we have been able to offer our popular commented feedings again. Our South American Sea Lions and the young animal can be seen particularly well there and the visitors get a lot of valuable information about this animal species," says zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck. Schönbrunn Zoo participates in the European Conservation Breeding Program (EEP) for South American Sea Lions.


Our new seal offspring and numerous other young animals - from zebras and giraffes to orangutans and penguins - can also be admired in the new zoo calendar 2023 by zoo photographer Daniel Zupanc. The A3 calendar is now available directly in the zoo, in bookstores (KIKO-Verlag, ISBN: 978-3-902644-41-1) and in our online shop at




Video Captions Translated by: Franziska Graumann (

Photos by: Daniel Zupanc (