Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park got a little more seaworthy recently.
The zoo announced the birth of the first female sea lion pup at Shipwreck Cove. The newborn’s animal care team named the baby Makara, which means “little sea creature” in Hindi.
With her mom by her side, Makara is quite the adventurer and is exploring everything in her new world.
“She has already earned a special place in all of our hearts and we are beyond thrilled for the public to get to know this amazing pup,” said Kate Conely, Sea Lion Manager at Wildlife World.
Makara is the third pup to be born as a result of Wildlife World’s sea lion breading program.
“Little Mak,” as nicknamed by her trainers, has spent much of her time in the zoo’s off exhibit pup nursery getting acclimated to water and preparing to begin swim lessons. The art of swimming is not a skill that sea lions are born with. After lots of water play using kiddie pools, the youngster is ready to graduate to swim lessons in the large public viewing pools.
Markara’s lessons will start in the shallows, until she gains the confidence needed to venture into the deeper waters. Trainers will remain in the water to support and encourage the baby, until they are assured the pup knows how to navigate through the water and enter and exit the pools safely.
After swim lessons are complete, the sea lion’s care team will begin introductions to the rest of the sea lion family, including her older brother Sunny, who was the first marine mammal born in the state of Arizona.