Hellabrunn’s Sea Lion Kindergarten is open!

Four baby sea lions take the seal enclosure by storm

The baby sea lions are a little uneasy. They watch their mother with their big black beady eyes as she slides elegantly down from the dry deck in three moves, one flipper in the water, second flipper in the water, head under and she’s swimming. Easy!


Well, that’s the theory. In practice it is somewhat different for the baby sea lions. They nervously test the water temperature with the tips of their flippers, then they holler because Mum is already in the water before the young animals finally get the courage up to enter that strange, wet stuff!


Just like children, the baby sea lions have to learn how to swim. Nora is now three weeks old and learned her first swimming strokes under the excellent supervision of her mother and zookeepers in a small pool behind the scenes. Now she can stay afloat really well.  However moving up to the big pool is always an adventure for sea lion mothers and their zookeepers.


Nora, Nelly and Nick can now be seen swimming in the sea lion pool on a daily basis. The youngest baby sea lion still needs to learn how to swim and will, along with its mother Sandy, join its half-siblings in the big pool in the next few days. By then hopefully its sex will be known, so that it can quickly be named.


The young animals weigh approx. four kilos, are 45 centimetres long and suckle about four times a day. Hellabrunn has a total of 15 Californian sea lions.

“Sea lions are born entertainers and watching baby sea lions trying to swim for the first time is pure entertainment! Now we’re just hoping for babies for our South American sea lions to complete our seal kindergarten,” enthused zoo director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem.