DOWNTOWN — The Shedd Aquarium welcomed two more California sea lions to its cove this week.
Charger, a 3-year-old, 230-pound California sea lion, recently dove into his new home at the Shedd, according to a Shedd news release. He’s joined by a 3-month-old sea lion pup he began fathering after the pup was rejected by his mother at their old home, officials said.
As a youngster, Charger was raised by Tanner, the largest and oldest sea lion in the Shedd’s care. Now that Charger is living at the aquarium with his own pup in tow, the Shedd is home to three generations of sea lions, according to the aquarium.
Charger and his pup are getting used to their new environment and caretakers after traveling here from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C., according to the Shedd.
Charger is showing signs of confidence as he explores his new home, according to the Shedd. Charger’s pup is the youngest sea lion to live at the aquarium in its history, and he has already started to swim, vocalize and engage with enrichment toys, according to the aquarium.
A care team is hand-rearing the pup to ensure he develops properly since he was rejected by his mother, according to the Shedd. This includes monitoring his growth as he eats nutrient-rich formula until he’s weaned and introduced to fish.
The pup will be slowly introduced to other sea lions, learn to socialize with his caretakers and participate in training and enrichment sessions, according to the Shedd.
You won’t be able to see the new sea lions at the aquarium while they’re acclimating to their new environment in private, but you can keep up with their progress here.
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