Denver Zoo has welcomed a new California sea lion pup into their family. On June 11th the male pup was born and recently he has begun to explore the sea pool in the Northern Shores exhibit.
This is the first pup born at the zoo since 2010 when his parents gave birth to another pup. The mother is Luci and the father is Nick. Luci came to Denver From Sea World Orlando during 2003 while Nick moved from the Pacific Marine Mammal Centre during 2008.
Currently the curious and independent pup weighs 20lb (9kg) but as an adult he may reach 800lb (362kg).
Luci has proven herself as a highly attentive mother. When her son needs a feed a night she wakes up to make sure he gets it. He will continue drinking for the next year and will then transition on to fish. Currently his mother needs 20lb (9kg) of fish a day to ensure that her milk contains all the nutrients a growing sea lion needs.
He is growing quickly and has been seen participating in mums training sessions by mimicking her behaviours.
It took twelve months for the pup to be born. Luci did not get pregnant immediately though with this species having a 3 months delayed implantation process. It then takes 9 months for the pup to develop.
California sealions are native to North America’s West Coast being found from Baja California to British California. They are highly sociable and have remarkable vision meaning they can see both during the day and at night. You can find out more about this species here – Californian Sea Lion | The Animal Facts
Photo Credit: Denver Zoo