Baby sea lion's first day in the big pool
The California sea lions at Hellabrunn Zoo love splashing around: The new pup is beginning to enjoy the adventures of the big pool.
Like small children, baby sea lions also have to learn to swim. Otti is now six weeks old and has already had his first swimming lessons - closely attended by his keepers and mama sea lion Johna (10 years) - in a paddling pool behind the scenes. Today was finally the big day: Baby sea lion Otti took his first plunge in the big pool. It was a heart-in-mouth moment for both mama sea lion and his keepers. But Otti proved to be a natural and performed the first show of his life in front of enthusiastic visitors. Papa Barney (16 years) is proud of his young pup.
Born on 26 June, Otti, the baby sea lion, can be seen taking a dip every day in the sea lion pool. The pup weighs about eight kilos and is 70 cm tall. Hellabrunn Zoo has twelve sea lions living at the zoo.
"Otti is a born entertainer and made us all proud with his first jump and swim. Watching the baby sea lion is just simply amazing," says zoo director Rasem Baban.
The California sea lion is an eared seal that lives on the Pacific coast of North and Central America in the wild. Compared to other species of sea lions, the California sea lion has a slender, athletic body, a domed forehead and lacks the mane typical for other bull species. The males are much larger and heavier than females (1.80 m, 90 kg) and can grow up to 2.20 m long and 400 kg in weight. Bulls are dark brown, cows are usually much lighter.
After mating, the females have a gestation period of about eleven months. Each female gives birth to a cub that weighs about five kilos at birth and is about 70 cm long. The cub is suckled for three months. California sea lions reach sexually maturity between three to four years.