Sea lion pup gets a name...
New face, new name...
The male sea lion pup that was born at the Park earlier this summer has been given a name by his dedicated keepers of... Gus!
Keepers were determined to choose a German name for the youngster, as his father Max was born in Germany.
The young pup is growing fast and mum Kira is being treated to five fish feeds a day in order to keep up her energy. It's hoped that Gus will stop suckling at around eight months old and then he will slowly wean onto fish. He is very demanding and keepers have already noticed a wide-range of vocalisations coming from him - each one signalling something different including hunger, warning noises and a general 'chatter'.
As Gus is still quite small, he hasn't ventured into the main outdoor pool in Sea Lion Beach just yet. However, he has access to a 4' deep pool inside which is much easier for him to slide in and out of. He already has a bit of a fascination with water though and has been entertaining his keepers by splashing in puddles and jumping in and out of his smaller pool. It's thought that mum Kira will start 'swimming lessons' soon with Gus in the big pool, which will involve Kira having to assist him with getting in and out.
Laura Ashton, senior keeper in Animal Encounters, said: "Gus has settled in well with the group and it's all so exciting as he's the first pup at the Park for a very long time. It took a little while for keepers to all agree on a good name for him but we all felt that Gus reflected his big personality, as well as his background.
"Keepers will soon begin training with Gus to teach him important movements required for medical assessments. These will include him making his flipper present and also opening his mouth."
Visitors are able to see Gus at the outdoor feed that takes place daily down in Sea Lion Beach at 11.30am, as well as the 12.30pm and 3.30pm talk and demonstrations.