Baby boom continues at Dublin Zoo

 

The baby boom at Dublin Zoo is continuing this summer with the birth of a new sea lion pup and five endangered birds.

The unnamed female pup arrived safely more than two weeks ago and was being taught to swim within three days by protective new mum Sienna.

Weighing just 2lb at birth, the Californian pup is with her four fellow sea lions at the Fringes of the Arctic enclosure.

Team leader Eddie O’Brien said staff are delighted with the latest arrival.

“People think sea lions can swim straight away but they have to be taught,” said Eddie. “When Sienna put her in the water she panicked a bit, but her mum stayed beside and lifted her back whenever there was a problem.

“She really is settling in so well and her mum keeps a watchful eye over her. The new pup already appears to be full of personality and is enjoying learning to swim alongside her family.

“They are very popular with lots of visitors coming to see them.”

Although only the size of a loaf of bread when born on June 13th, the pup is growing quickly and can be seen feeding from her mother for the next six to nine months.

Elsewhere the zoo’s bird breeding programme has seen the successful arrival of two threatened species.

Within the last six weeks two new Waldrapp Ibis and three colourful Military Macaws were hatched.

Mr O'Brien said both are very unique birds.

“They are endangered species so the success of the breathing programme is very important,” he added.

Last summer another sea lion pup called Ella was born during one of the zoo’s biggest baby booms — which included the birth of Budi, the first ever bull elephant in Ireland, Zukiszwa, a white rhinoceros and Sandsteen the giraffe.

Elsewhere there was the hatching of four Chilean flamingos, three maras, two yellow backed chattering lories, six kune kune piglets, a leopard tortoise, a South American tapir and a pony.

In January a female giraffe called Neema was also born.

PA