Sea Lion Pups born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park!
3rd July 2023
The first cute arrival was born on June 21st, to mum Lara, 15. The second pup was born to Bailey, 15, Lara’s best friend, on June 30th. Both pups are thriving.
The births were captured on the park’s CCTV.
Aquatics Team Leader Kelsie Wood said: “Lara and Bailey are proving to be brilliant mums. They are displaying all their nurturing instincts as they gently guide and play with their new-borns’.
“At the start they were spending most of the time enjoying a well-deserved rest and relaxation period indoors. But one night last week a pup went for a first swim in the nursery pool.
“Now they are venturing out more and more, allowing visitors to enjoy their antics. In time they will be introduced to the rest of the family in the main Point Lobos pool.
“Sea lion pups rely on their mother’s milk for nourishment, and their enthusiastic and loud suckling can be heard from quite a distance.
“The little ones have already captivated the hearts of the staff, as the suckling echoes into the staff room, a testament to healthy little appetites”.
Currently, the males of both families are kept separate to Bailey, Lara and their pups.
“As part of their growth and development, the pups will soon have the opportunity to meet their extended families, however, to ensure the well-being and proper acclimatisation of the pups, the males in the group will be kept separate for a few weeks.
“This will allow the little ones to explore their surrounding under the watchful eye of mums Lara and Bailey.
“When the time is right, the entire family will be reintroduced, fostering a harmonious and thriving Sea Lion colony.”
The purpose-built Point Lobos was officially opened in November 2021 by Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh. Its 70-meter pool is the biggest purpose-built sea lion pool in the world and is filled with three million litres of water.
CEO John Minion said: “We are immensely proud of this incredible milestone being the first ever sea lions to be born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.”
Californian sea lions have also been named by the Spanish as "sea wolves" because of the sound of their barks.
This is their only means of communication and they can produce the bark both above and under the water. Sea lions are extremely strong swimmers and can reach speeds of nearly 20 miles per hour in the water.
YWP in Auckley near Doncaster offers visitors a unique walk-through experience coming almost face to face with some of the world’s most rare and beautiful species including Amur Leopards and Tigers, Black Rhinos, Giraffes and the country’s only Polar Bears.