Sea lion pup makes debut at aquarium

Ron, an adorable sea lion pup, has made his debut at the New England Aquarium. (Photo courtesy of the New England Aquarium) 

An adorable sea lion pup has made his debut at the New England Aquarium.

Ron, a California sea lion who was born at the aquarium on July 2, is making a big splash after learning how to swim, adapting to his climate, as well as bonding with his mother, Tipper, behind-the-scenes.

“In late July, his mother then indicated to the trainers that she was ready to have him introduced to the main exhibit pool of the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center with its two other sea lions and four northern fur seals,” a press release noted. “Through much of August, Ron gradually met different members of this large group and spent more and more time with them on each visit.”

These days, the eight-week-old pup “is becoming a proficient swimmer and can move from the water to the deck in a fairly smooth manner.”

The Aquarium also said that he can walk steadily on the even surface of the pool side, but instead prefers to relax on the rocks.

“His dexterity on those uneven surfaces is toddler clumsy at best as he slugs and tumbles his way with slight height changes,” according to the release. “Ron’s confidence sometimes exceeds his coordination.”

While Ron weighed about 12 to 14 pounds when he was born, he has nearly doubled his weight, as he now “tips the scales in the low 20s.” He is not eating fish yet, so he is still feeding on Tipper’s milk.

“Observant Aquarium visitors can sometimes see him nursing on Tipper in the central part of the exhibit,” the release stated. “At night, he snuggles in with not only Tipper but two other young adult females named Zoe and Sierra in typical California sea lion fashion.”

The post also said Ron was named in honor of the late Dr. Ron Schusterman, a pioneering marine mammal scientist and expert in animal behavior at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with whom Streeter worked on sea lion research.

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