— The Wildlife Conservation Society’s zoos are welcoming the arrival of five new California sea lions. Four of the five were rescued from the wild and the fifth was born at the Bronx Zoo.
“We are happy to provide a home for these rescued animals and to add genetic diversity to our sea lion propagation program,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President and Bronx Zoo Director.
Two female sea lions arrived at WCS’s Prospect Park Zoo after being orphaned and stranded off the coast of Point Hueneme, Calif. Upon rescue, the pups were brought to Six Flags Vallejo in Ventura County California for initial care and rehabilitation. They were brought to Prospect Park Zoo on a recommendation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after it was determined they were unlikely to survive in the wild.
The pups are doing well and learning basic behaviors from the zoo’s animal keepers. They are on exhibit in the sea lion pool along with the Prospect Park Zoo’s two other females, Stella and Beebe.
Two adult male California sea lions from the West Coast now live at WCS’s Queens Zoo. They came from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of a local wildlife management project in Bonneville, Ore.
Animal staff from the Queens Zoo and a veterinarian from the WCS Zoological Health Program went to the Pacific Northwest to examine, care for, and begin basic training of the two bulls at a local holding facility. They worked closely with the animals for nearly a month before transporting them to their new home.
The two join Butch and Taylor to complete the bachelor group of four in the zoo's sea lion pool.
Lastly, a sea lion pup was born at the Bronx Zoo on June 28th. The pup is the third baby born to mother, Indy. This is the sixth offspring of father, Kiani, who was transferred to be the breeding bull at the New York Aquarium.
The newborn is female and is still unnamed. She joins Halftime, another rescue brought to the Bronx in 2012; Margaretta; McCabe; Nav; and Indy in the pool on the zoo’s historic Astor Court. California sea lions are exhibited at all five WCS facilities: the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo.
California sea lions are not endangered and live in healthy populations along the west coast of North America from Alaska to Mexico. All marine mammals, including sea lions, are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.