/ The Amsterdam Guide
Amsterdam — By Marianne on June 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm
Filed under: featuredarticle, zoo

Meet Baby Sea Lion

Last Sunday, the sea lion act in Artis zoo was very special because mother Carolien gave birth to a healthy pup with hundreds of people watching her. It did not come as a big surprise, because mother sea lion had stopped eating and Saturday. She also had difficulty in walking. These are two signs that the pup is on the way. The new-born sea lion has not got a name yet, because the keepers don’ t know yet if the pup is a boy or a girl.

This is the second sea lion pup this year. In May, mother Bløp had her pup. The mothers will have no problem in knowing who is who. Right after birth, the mother cries out loud, the pup answers. From then on the pup and mother know each other’s voice and have established a bond

Pups are born on land. They weigh about thirteen pounds (5 kg) and are two and a half feet long (70 cm). Their fur is dark brown to black but this fades to light brown in a few weeks. They open their eyes almost immediately and produce sounds. Within thirty minutes after birth, the baby sea lion can groom, scratch and walk. After about ten days, the pup starts swimming but is not very skilful yet. The youngest pup in the Artis sea lion family, one-year old Puck, will help the baby moving about in the water.

The two new mothers in Artis Zoo will have no problem in distinguishing their own child. They recognise their off spring by scent and sound. The two young pups have the same father, Max, who died after thirteen years of beach mastership. Mating is hard work for sea lions. They have to gain an extra 132 pounds (60 kg) in weight. Max had not been able to do this, but chased the women as a young hero. This was fatal. The new beach master, Fernandez, will adopt the baby because sea lion fathers don’ t know if they are the real father. They acknowledge newborns without problems.

The sea lion keepers of Artis will show the two youngest pups to the public every day at 11:30 and 15:45 and tell about their progress.

WHAT: Artis Zoo
WHERE: Plantage Kerklaan 38 (map)
HOURS: 1 April – 31 October 09:00 – 18:00. 1 November – 31 March 09:00 – 17:00
TRAM: 9, 10 and 14

photo credit: mikebaird @flickr

Related places:
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    Plantage Kerklaan 38, 1018CZ Amsterdam, Nederland
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