A baby Californian sea lion pup has been born at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire to first-time mum, Kira and dad, Max.
The two-week old youngster arrived earlier this month in the Sea Lion Beach enclosure in the Foot Safari and is the first sea lion pup to be born at the Park in 12 years.
The youngster is as yet unsexed and unnamed and keepers are keeping their distance to ensure that mother and baby have time to bond.
The new arrival marks the beginning of the third generation of sea lions at the park and brings the total number of individuals in the “rookery” (group of sea lions) to six.
Lianne Hyslop, Senior Animal Keeper at Woburn Safari Park said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome the new pup, as it feels like we have been waiting a really long time for the little one to be born!
“Dad, Max is the only male in the rookery and it took him a while to settle in and for the girls to fully accept him, so it’s fantastic to see them as one big family. Kira is proving to be a very attentive mum and is doing a fantastic job looking after her newborn.”
Mother, Kira is keeping her pup out of the pool for the time being as the new arrival is not yet ready to swim. The salt water pool in the enclosure has been designed with a high-tech filtration system, to give the group a habitat that is as similar as possible to their natural habitat in the wild. This means there is a natural build-up of algae in the pool, which is a sign of healthy water.
Visitors can see the new pup and parents Kira and Max at one of the daily talks and demonstrations given by keepers. These talks are a great way to learn all about this species, their natural behaviours, their diet and adaptations to avoid predators.
To find out more visit www.woburnsafari.co.uk/news