CHICAGO (CBS) — Get ready to say “aww,” as guests can now view two California sea lion pups at Brookfield Zoo.
The two 1.5 month old sea lion pups have been behind-the-scenes learning to swim and bonding with their moms since their births in early June. But as of Tuesday, guests visiting Brookfield Zoo can now see them in their outdoor exhibit at Pinniped Point.
Josephine, one of the zoo’s female California sea lions gave birth to a female pup on June 4. Later that month, another one of the zoo’s sea lions, Arie gave birth to a male pup on June 11.
The zoo said the pups have been “growing steadily due to the richness of their mothers’ milk, which is high in fat. They each have nearly doubled in weight since their births, now hitting the scale between 25 and 35 pounds.”
The two pups will continue to nurse for at least five months, and may continue to do so for more than a year.
“The pups are very important to the genetic diversity of the North American zoo population for the species. Both their moms and Tanner, the sire, were wild born. For various reasons, all three adults were deemed nonreleasable by the U.S. government and given homes at three accredited facilities—Aquarium of Niagara, Brookfield Zoo, and Shedd Aquarium,” a Chicago Zoological Society release read.
All of the zoo’s California sea lions, included the two pups, can be viewed outside, but the zoo reminds guests that the pups will continue to have access to their indoor area while they get acclimated.