CONEY ISLAND – Some very lucky aquarium visitors were treated to an unusual surprise on Memorial Day this year. A California sea lion pup (Zalophus californianus) was born in full view of the morning crowd. The pup, which has yet to receive its name, is healthy and doing great.
“It is unusual for visitors to have the opportunity to witness the birth of an animal at the aquarium,” said Craig Piper, interim New York Aquarium Director and WCS Director of City Zoos. “Aquarium staff were on hand to answer questions from the guests, and our keepers and veterinarians continue to closely monitor the pup’s development. This is a special birth that has been a wonderful experience for everyone.”
The youngster is the first offspring for mother, Ariana. She is attentive and protective of the pup and is proving to be a great mom. As the two bond and the pup matures, the ability for guests to view the pair may be temporarily limited. Keepers have not yet been able to determine the pup’s gender.
California sea lions are the only species that are exhibited in all five WCS parks in New York City – the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and New York Aquarium. Individuals are periodically moved between the parks for breeding to ensure the population is sustainable and genetically healthy.
The New York Aquarium’s sea lion breeding program has been very successful in recent years. This is the 5th pup born at the aquarium since its first in 2010.
About the New York Aquarium:
The New York Aquarium is located along Brooklyn’s famed Coney Island Boardwalk. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) manages the aquarium along with four zoos in New York City – Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo. WCS conservationists, curators and animal care staff work to save, propagate, and sustain populations of threatened and endangered species around the world and here in New York.
The aquarium connects visitors to marine life in New York waters and around the world through innovative exhibits and world-class animal care, educates more than 60,000 youth and adults in our formal education programs and conducts field research and conservation policy action in the waters of New York. In the summer of 2018, Ocean Wonders: Sharks! opened at the aquarium – a 57,500 square-foot three-story facility that features 18 species of sharks and rays and thousands of schooling fish. The aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). It is open every day of the year. For more information, visit www.nyaquarium.com.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Mission: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.
To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually.
WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission.