One of this state’s most spectacular recent events is when the first baby sea lion was born in Arizona.
The baby sea lion, or pup, is named Sunny; his parents’ names are Paris and Crocket. Sunny also has an aunt named Andy. Paris and Andy are half-sisters.
Sunny was born Aug. 17 at 9:51 a.m. He weighed about 18 pounds and now weighs 33 pounds as a 3-month-old. He will grow to be between 610 to 860 pounds when he is an adult.
Sunny was born at The Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium. They had a monitor to watch the birth. Sea lions birth on land because the mothers know that newborn sea lions aren’t born knowing how to swim, but the trainers were there to teach Sunny to swim.
Sea lion trainer and manager, Kate Conely, states “All the training we do is positive reinforcement training, so they only tell the sea lions—good job!” They also teach the sea lions to recognize medical equipment such as an oxygen mask, so they are familiar with it just in case they need medical care. Sunny goes out to watch his parents and aunt perform, so he can learn the way they do things.
Sunny for now just drinks milk from his mom but hopefully will start eating fish when he’s around 9-months-old—it depends on him. Sea lions eat their fish whole and sometimes the trainers will freeze the fish to make fish popsicles for the sea lions.
A problem that’s happening is the environment is getting harsh and humans are catching fish for us to consume, so sea lion mothers and fathers are having to go deeper and farther into the ocean to find food. That leads to them getting lost and can result in their pup being stranded. Also, five million drinking straws—the plastic ones you get in to-go cups are found in our ocean each year. So, help spread the message to help keep our oceans clean and use paper straws or none at all!
Visit Wildlifeworld.com for hours and visitor information.