Birth of first ever sea lion pups captured on CCTV at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Park's 70-meter pool is the biggest purpose-built sea lion pool in the world and is filled with three million litres of water. Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Park has welcomed its first ever sea lion pups, after two were born just over a week apart.

The first arrival was born on 21 June to mum Lara and the second pup was born to Bailey, just over a week later on 30 June.

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. 

“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.”

Credit: 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.

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