June 30, 2013 in Nation/World

Steller sea lion pup’s birth is first in decades

Mark Thiessen Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Eden, a 13-year-old Steller sea lion, lies with her newborn pup.
(Full-size photo)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A Steller sea lion pup born at the Alaska SeaLife Center holds an important distinction: It’s the first such pup born in captivity on this continent in decades, said the center’s president, Tara Riemer Jones.

“This is the first time since the 1980s that there’s been a Steller sea lion birth in North America, so we’re totally thrilled,” she said.

The pup, which probably won’t be named for months, was born at 5:35 a.m. June 20.

Her mother is Eden, a 13-year-old Steller sea lion on breeding loan from the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia. The pup’s father is the resident male at the Alaska SeaLife Center.

“Woody is the proud dad,” Jones said, adding that he will turn 20 this summer. “We don’t know how much longer we will have him around.”

Even though this is the first pup born in captivity in a long time, she said a lot of staff and helpers have experience caring for California sea lion pups, which are similar, only smaller.

The pup won’t be available for public viewing for a few months.

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