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California sea lion (Zalophus californianus)

California sea lion
California sea lionCalifornia sea lionCalifornia sea lionCalifornia sea lion

Personal Information
The Zoo is home to three sea lions: two females Marina and Lily and one male, P.J. Marina and Lily, born in 2009, were found stranded on beaches in Los Angeles County and rehabilitated at the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California. P.J. was born here at the Zoo in June 2013 to Marina. For more information on P.J.'s birth, click here.

Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern. The California sea lion is a protected species throughout its range. Sea lions are known to damage fishing gear and steal or destroy fish, but can get caught or killed through this type of behavior. Despite conflicts with commercial and sport fisheries, the population continues to survive.

Habitat
California sea lions live on offshore rocks and beaches on the Pacific west coast of North America from British Columbia to the coast of Mexico.

Diet
The sea lion eats fish, octopus, squid, mollusks and crustaceans.

  • A sea lion can dive up to 450-feet deep and remain submerged for 20 minutes without a breath.
  • Sea lions are different from seals in many ways. One difference is that sea lions have ear flaps called pinnea, which seals lack.
  • Natural predators of the sea lion are orcas and white sharks.
  • Sea lions move pretty well on land, using their hind flippers and fore flippers as feet.
  • Sea lions are some of the most gregarious sea mammals. They can form groups on land upwards of a thousand individuals at a time.