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sea lions


Dublin Zoo is delighted to announce the birth of three sea lion pups, all born within a week.

A little over a week ago, the first sea lion to give birth, Cassie, welcomed a healthy female pup during the early hours of Friday, June 7. Three days later, Sienna also gave birth to a healthy female pup on the June 10. Both female pups were born similar in size weighing approximately 6.3 kilos. Florence,  affectionately known as Flo, was next to give birth and welcomed a male pup on June 13 weighing 7.6 kilos.

Sea lions give birth during the month of June every year.

Team Leader Ciaran McMahon says, “All three sea lion pups and mothers are doing extremely well and settling into Sea Lion Cove, watched over by proud father Niko. Cassie’s pup is already swimming, and the two other pups are expected to start swimming within the next few days. The three new additions bring the sea lion colony up to nine.”


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Dublin Zoo takes part in the European Breeding Programme for California sea lions.

The new births come just in time for this week’s episode of RTÉ’s The Zoo TV series which re-lives the excitement at Sea Lion Cove this time last year when some of the colony’s females were due to give birth. The episode which airs this coming Sunday, June 23 on RTÉ One, is the perfect opportunity to watch the anticipation build as keepers wait eagerly for the new arrivals.



There was a little bit of California in Ireland today – and not just because of the sunshine. 

Yes, Dublin Zoo's adorable Californian sea lions moved into their new home: a stunning deep saltwater habitat just perfect for the marine mammals. 

And visitors to the attraction will be given a great shot of all the action too: an underground viewing chamber allows you to see the sea lions swimming underwater.

The colony at the Zoo currently consists of three females, Cassie, aged seven, Florence, six, and nine-year-old Seanna, as well as one male, Nico, who is three. It is envisaged that the colony will grow to approximately eight animals over the next few years.

The animal is found on the west coast of North America – from the US down to Mexico. Although females weigh-in at 100kg, males can grow to a hefty 350kg.

President Michael D Higgins, a fellow Phoenix Park resident, was on-hand to officially launch the exhibit this morning. He was accompanied by his wife, Sabina. 

Dublin Zoo director Leo Oosterweghel also said: “Every detail of this wonderful saltwater habitat has been considered carefully with the needs of the sea lions in mind and always inspired by their natural habitat. 

"This new home should encourage them to continue breeding and to encourage their natural behaviours giving visitors an amazing insight into sea lion behaviour."

For the last four years Dublin Zoo, which runs on a not-for-profit basis, has attracted more than a million annually a year making it one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions.