We’re delighted to announce that Ineke, one of our beloved California sea lions, has just given birth to her first pup. We’ve named the adorable new arrival Otis and, as the first sea lion pup to be born in Scotland in at least twenty years, he’s getting the VIP treatment.
Tiny Otis was born on the 6th of June 2023 at around 3am and, although it’s still early days, mum and baby are both doing well. As a first-time mum, Ineke seems to have adapted to her new role very quickly, but we’ll continue to monitor the pair closely in the coming weeks.
Ineke will nurse Otis for up to a year and may choose to stay inside a bit more during this time. Our recently completed state-of-the-art sea lion habitat includes a specialised area for the rearing of pups, with a shallow pool for the baby to safely splash around and explore.
Sea lion team leader Shane Belson said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Otis to our family. Ineke is proving to be a great mum, and little Otis is growing more confident and curious every day. California sea lions are such a charismatic species and really help us to educate our visitors about the importance of marine biodiversity.
Though not currently endangered, in the wild these pinnipeds rely on a carefully balanced marine environment, which is now increasingly under threat. We can all take steps to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans and shop more sustainably.”
There will be some changes to our regular schedule of talks and displays in the coming weeks, but visitors will still be able to view our sea lions in their outdoor habitat. Please note that as Otis was born inside, he will not be viewable in the outdoor habitat until he is big enough to venture out by himself. Of course, we will keep you updated with his progress in the meantime by flooding social media with all his cute photographs!