Sea lion pup is latest arrival at Dublin Zoo

Thursday 12 June 2008 17.02
A Pup is Born - This California Sea Lion made her public debut today at Dublin Zoo
A Pup is Born - This California Sea Lion made her public debut today at Dublin Zoo

A female California sea lion pup made her public debut at Dublin Zoo today after she was born on Monday.

It has been a busy month for the zoo following the births of a white rhino and giraffe in the last three weeks.

The as-yet-unnamed sea lion pup weighed in at a healthy 7kg.

She joins her sister Leah, Dad Danny and Mam Ciara (below) and brings the total number of sealions in Dublin Zoo to five.

Californian sea lions are highly social and usually breed around May and June. The females have a 12-month gestation period. The pups are born with their eyes open and can communicate with their mothers through barking.

Sea lion pups cannot swim when born so the new arrival will spend the next few days under the watchful eye of its mother whilst she learns to swim.

Speaking at the zoo earlier today, team leader Eddie O’Brien said he was delighted with the news: 'The sea lion pup is making great progress since her arrival on Monday. Mum Ciara came to Dublin Zoo in 1997 from Rotterdam Zoo and has given birth to six pups since her arrival.'

Visitors to the zoo will be able to see the new sea lion calf from today.

Ciara and her unnamed female sea lion pup at Dublin Zoo