This young California sea lion was saved after stranding herself one too many times. Photo by: Julie Larsen Maher.
A young female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), who had stranded herself three times, has found a new home at the Bronx Zoo. After her most recent escapade of showing up at a beachside bar in California, experts decided she was too habituated to humans to re-release back into the ocean for a third time. She was transferred to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo.
“The new addition to the zoo’s sea lion population is a rare opportunity for the zoo and our visitors,” explained Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President and Bronx Zoo Director, in a press release. “We are able to provide a home for an animal unlikely to survive alone in the wild. Additionally, once mature, this pup will help WCS maintain genetic diversity in our breeding population of sea lions. She will be well cared for in the Bronx and will be an ambassador for the species by helping us teach zoo visitors about wildlife and conservation.”
California sea lions, found across the western coastline of North America, are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. In California alone, there are believed to be well over 200,000 sea lions. The sea lions remain imperiled by poaching, conflict with fishermen, drowning in nets, entanglement in plastic pollution, and long-term impacts from chemicals like DDT and PCBs, which are still present in the marine environment.
Young California sea lion with fish. Photo by: Julie Larsen Maher.
Close-up of saved California sea lion. Photo by: Julie Larsen Maher.