Sea Lion Cove - Officially Open!

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Sea Lion Cove - Officially Open!

Tuesday, 09 June 2015

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins opened the new Sea Lion Cove during a ceremony in Dublin Zoo today.

Sea Lion Cove is the biggest and most exciting development undertaken by Dublin Zoo in a number of years. The new saltwater habitat was inspired by the natural environment of the California sea lions and includes a state of the art water filtration plant. The most spectacular feature of the new habitat is a deep saltwater pool and viewing area that allows visitors to observe the sea lions swimming underwater through glass.

Sea Lion Cove will be home to the colony of California sea lions at Dublin Zoo. Currently there are two females, Cassie and Florence and one male, Niko, at the Zoo. They will be joined by a third female, Seanna, in the coming weeks. It is envisaged that the colony will grow to approximately 7 – 8 animals in coming years. The California sea lion is found on the west coast of North America down to Mexico.  Males can weigh up to 350kg and females up to 100kg.

Speaking at today’s event Leo Oosterweghel, Director of Dublin Zoo, said, “Today marks the culmination of one of the most challenging yet enjoyable projects we have ever undertaken at Dublin Zoo.

“Every detail of this wonderful saltwater habitat has been considered carefully with the needs of the sea lions in mind and always inspired by their natural habitat.  This new home should encourage them to continue breeding and to encourage their natural behaviours giving visitors an amazing insight into sea lion behaviour.

“The build was very complex and as the construction took place on the site of a former lake, there were significant engineering challenges. But the result is a fantastic new habitat for the sea lions at Dublin Zoo and an excellent visitor experience.

He continued, “We are especially pleased to have President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins with us today to celebrate as these beautiful animals enjoy their new home.”

For the last 4 years Dublin Zoo has attracted over a million visitors a year making it one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions. Dublin Zoo is a not-for-profit organisation and all surplus is invested into improving and developing the Zoo.


Colony of sea lions at Dublin Zoo

-          Niko, male, was born in Blackpool in 2012 and arrived in Dublin Zoo this month

-          Cassie, female, was born in 2008 in Longleat Safari Park. She came to Dublin Zoo in 2009

-          Florence, female,  was born in Dublin Zoo in 2009

-          Seanna, female, was  born in Longleat Safari Park in 2005 and arrived to Dublin Zoo in 2006. Florence is her daughter.





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