Sea Lion Bay
Banham Zoo’s new residents five Californian sea lions give ‘sea lion of approval’ as they move into their new residence at the zoo.
These adorable, playful, curious and very sociable marine mammals have already settled in and given it the ‘flippers up’ and ‘sea lion of approval’.
The two males Emmett and Elmo and three females Gala, Filippa and Ineke arrived at the end of February, having travelled from zoos in Karlsruhe, Rotterdam and Blackpool.
“Sea Lion Bay” is an exciting new saltwater marine habitat and provides the perfect environment for the five sea lions; its deep water pool, rocks and ledges will allow them to show off their natural behaviour, giving visitors an amazing insight into sea lions, while learning all about these beautiful mammals during educational feeding talks and keeper enrichments.
Every detail of this wonderful saltwater habitat has been considered carefully with the needs of the sea lions in mind and includes the installation of a state-of-the-art filtration system to maintain the water’s clarity and cleanliness. There is also a covered section to keep an area of their pool water sheltered from the summer sun, and glass barriers around the enclosure give visitors clear and close-up views as they observe these magnificent animals enjoying their new home.
Let us introduce you to our five Californian sea lions:
Gala, our adult female was born in June 2003 in Barcelona Zoo, Spain, and arrived at Banham Zoo from Blackpool Zoo in March 2018.
Daughter of Filippa and this shows with her behaviour, she likes to be by mums side. Eager to train and she is very quick and precise with her trained behaviours.
Filippa, our adult female was born in June 1999 in Osnabrück Zoo, Germany, and arrived at Banham Zoo, from Blackpool Zoo in March 2018.
The most steady of the five. Being the oldest she takes everything in her stride and doesn’t seem fazed by anything. She is inquisitive and very happy to be with the keepers.
Elmo, our adult male was born in 2009 in Blackpool Zoo, UK, and arrived at Banham Zoo, from Blackpool Zoo in March 2018.
Gentle giant who still has lots of growing to do. He, like Gala, is very precise with his training and can almost be seen thinking about what is being asked to get the fish reward.
Obviously he eats the most, around 12kg per day but he has plenty of manners and doesn’t steal off the others.
Emmett, our juvenile male was born in June 2016 in Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany and arrived at Banham Zoo, from Karlsruhe Zoo in February 2018.
Emmett – He is like an excitable puppy who doesn’t quite seem to know what to do with himself at times. Very comfortable around the keepers and is trying really hard at his training. He has become best friends with Ineke since his arrival.
Ineke, our juvenile female was born in May 2016 in Rotterdam Zoo in The Netherlands and arrived at Banham Zoo, from Rotterdam Zoo in February 2018.
She has bonded well with Emmett and sticks to his side. She is the smallest and most cautious of all the sea lions but is participating well in the training but she has much to learn compared to the others. She seems to be a very sweet natured animal and no doubt she will gain more confidence in the coming weeks.