Sea lion becomes father at Wildlife World

Crockette the sea lion recently became a father for the third time. (Photo courtesy Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park)

Crockette, a sea lion at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park, recently became a father for the third time.

In addition to Crockette’s third baby, it is mother Paris’ second.

Zoo officials announced the sea lion pup’s birth in honor of Father’s Day.

Sea lions are highly intelligent animals. They are known for their ability to learn complex, voluntary husbandry and medical behaviors through operant conditioning principles and positive reinforcement.

In fact, Paris was already voluntarily participating in maternal husbandry behaviors, such as ultrasounds, long before the pup was conceived. By participating in her own health care, the animal care team, including two veterinarians, a veterinary technician and three specialists, is able to better monitor Paris and her unborn baby’s health. This ensures the birth of a healthy pup, while maintaining the health, comfort and well-being of mom.

Wildlife World’s exhibit was carefully designed for the success of a sea lion breeding program in an effort to maximize genetic diversity within the zoological population. With approximately 150,000 gallons of man-made salt water for the sea lions, the expanding sea lion family will have plenty of room to raise the new pup.

The spacious outdoor exhibit allows visitors to attend public educational demonstrations featuring these acrobatic animals twice a day. In addition, guests get the opportunity to feed the sea lions and participate in photo opportunities after their scheduled feeding times and shows.

Wildlife World’s expert sea lion care team is committed to providing the best care to their animals and engaging, informative, and fun educational experiences for visitors of all ages. In fact, each year Wildlife World offers savings for parents and schools, enabling eighty thousand students the opportunity to discover and learn about more than 600 species of birds, fish, mammals and reptiles.

Like all marine mammals, sea lions are protected by the landmark legislation known as the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), passed in 1972. The MMPA makes it illegal to hunt or harass any marine mammal species found in U.S. waters. Sea lions, like many marine animals, face an uncertain future due to ocean pollution, dwindling fish stock, and competition with human activities.

The energetic sea lions are seen daily at “Shipwreck Cove,” a pirate ship display with upper deck and underwater viewing. With an outdoor exhibit pool, public seating and several viewing areas, there are plenty of opportunities for guests to get an up-close and personal encounter with the sea lions.