Omaha zoo welcomes newborn sea lion pups

Courtesy of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Two sea lion pups are ready to greet the public at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.

The first pup was born last Wednesday, June 12, to 9-year-old Gemini; the second was born Tuesday to Coco, who was herself born at Henry Doorly in June 2009, according to a Thursday news release from the zoo.

The pups were both fathered by 15-year-old Chino.

Zoo officials said all the sea lions are currently on display together in a shallower depth of water until the pups have learned to swim in deeper water.

"Mothers begin teaching their pups how to swim as early as a few days old by pulling them into the water for a short period of time for several days, each time getting farther and deeper into the water," the release states.

California sea lions are commonly found along the coastlines of the Pacific Northwest region. Males can weigh between 700 to 1,000 pounds while females can weigh between 200 to 250 pounds, according to the zoo's release.

The zoo is planning to open Owen Sea Lion Shores in 2020. The new sea lion habitat will have natural boundaries, underwater viewing, and state-of-the-art holding facilities complete with a diet prep area and holding pools, according to the release.

The area will include a natural beach which will allow females to give birth on land and gradually introduce their pups to the water as they would in their natural habitats, the release states.


Gemini's pup was Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Courtesy of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium)
Coco and her pup, born Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (Courtesy of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium)
Gemini, 9, and her pup, born Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Courtesy of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium)