Pinniped Nursery and Science Center
Visit the Pinniped Nursery and Science Center to learn about these beautiful animals in an up close and underwater setting. Amongst the pinnipeds you can currently see are California Sea Lions Lulu and Pebbles along with their sea lion pups Minnow and Missy swimming laps!
Typically found up and down the coast of California and alongside the Northern Pacific ocean, California Sea Lions are very social animals, known for their agility by using their very large front flippers to swim through the water and walking around on land with the aid of their back flippers. California Sea Lions have the unique ability to rotate their hips which help them get around on land. They also have very flexible necks and large canines that are used primarily for fighting in the wild.
Male California Sea Lions are mostly dark brown to black, with areas of light tan on the face. Females and young juveniles are a light gray to silver color after molting. Molting is when the animal sheds its outer layer of fur, which is then replaced by new fur. Adult females and juveniles molt from early fall through winter, and adult males molt in January and February.
Though California Sea Lions are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and are currently at low risk of endangerment, Human impact continue to be their biggest threat in the wild.
Along with providing a home for our younger pinnipeds and their mothers, our animal care specialists will also be conducting various scientific research which currently include studying the potential effects of domoic acids toxins on sea lion brains.