California Sea Lion Pup Makes Public Debut At Brookfield Zoo

July 12, 2019 - 11:46 am
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- At the end of June, Brookfield Zoo announced the arrival of male, a California sea lion pup. And now the wait is over to see him!

Brookfield Zoo announced Friday that the male California sea lion pup born on June 10 has a name and can now be seen at zoo’s Pinniped Point. 

Charger, the one-month old sea lion pup, was led Friday morning by his mother, 9-year-old Josephine into their outdoor habitat for the first time since birth. But the zoo said, while the pup continues to get acclimated to his new surroundings, he will be able to access the indoor space.

According to the zoo, since birth, Charger has doubled his weight to approximately 40 pounds. 

"He has been growing steadily due to the richness of their mothers’ milk, which is high in fat. Within the next month, staff will introduce him to a diet of fish, however, Charger will nurse for at least five to six months and may continue to do so for a year," according to animal care staff. 

According to the zoo, this is the second pup for Josephine. Her first pup was born in 2017 and was named Lucy. She still resides at Brookfield Zoo along with another 2-year-old named Taylor, who is Charger’s half-brother. Josephine, and the sire, 16-year-old Tanner, are both wild-born and very important to the species genetic diversity in the accredited North American zoo population, the zoo said. 

"Although not threatened in their natural habitat along the west coast of North America from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, to the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico, California sea lions still face challenges," the zoo said in a statement. "Threats include entanglement in fishing gear, toxins they ingest from their prey, intentional dumping of toxic and hazardous waste, and changes in global atmosphere pressure that affects the availability of prey."

Today, the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act protects all marine mammals, including California sea lions.

Check out the new photos below of the male California sea lion pup, Charger, exploring his outdoor space:

Charger, a month-old California sea lion pup made his public debut at Brookfield Zoo. He can be seen with his mom, Josephine, at the zoo’s Pinniped point.
Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

Charger, a month-old California sea lion pup made his public debut at Brookfield Zoo. He can be seen exploring his habitat at the zoo’s Pinniped Point.
Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

Charger, a month-old California sea lion pup made his public debut at Brookfield Zoo. He can be seen with his mom, Josephine, at the zoo’s Pinniped point.
Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

Charger, a month-old California sea lion pup made his public debut at Brookfield Zoo. He can be seen exploring his habitat at the zoo’s Pinniped Point.
Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society