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Californian Sea Lion, Diego
Zoo location: 
Scientific Name: 
Zalophus californianus
Species class: 
Least Concern

The California sea lion is a large, charismatic pinniped naturally found along the western coast of the United States, with a range extending from southeast Alaska to central Mexico.  Females (known as ‘cows’) can reach a weight of 110kg, while males (bulls) can reach 400kg. These sea lions live in close proximity to humans, with a famous resting site being Pier 39, in San Francisco Bay.  This puts them in direct conflict with fisheries, with overfishing and entanglement being key threats.

California sea lions have an important role as ambassador species at Taronga. With their impressive physique, eagerness to learn and large personalities, they are able to give visitors an understanding of threats they face in the wild and what we can do to help 

Their loud ‘bark’ is commonly associated with all seals, but is in fact unique to this species.  At Taronga Zoo, California sea-lions can be seen as a part of our daily Seals For The Wild presentations and are frequently seen in the Habitat Pool at Great Southern Oceans.

Our Californian Sea Lions:

At Taronga Zoo Sydney we have five Californian Sea Lions.

Michi – Born 5/6/1999 at Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany

Murphy – Born 22/12/2003 at Sea World, Gold Coast

Pepper  – Born 8/6/2008 at Emmen Zoo, Holland

Diego – Born 23/6/2013 at Rotterdam Zoo, Holland

Cisco – Born 2/7/2013 at Rotterdam Zoo, Holland

Year assessed: