Taronga Zoo Sydney today announced the birth of a cute yet endangered male Australian Sea-lion pup named Moby, which has made a playful splash in his new home at Seal Cove.
Moby was born on Friday 6 October to mother Lexie and father Charlie and has gradually built his confidence swimming. Keepers are now confident that Moby can move with his mum from a shallow pool to a larger pool where guests will be able to view him diving and playing.
Keepers named the pup Moby because, at 11.04kg, he weighed approximately four kilograms more than the average birth weight for an Australian Sea-lion pup.
Taronga Zoo Sydney is one of only three organisations in Australia with the resources to care for and breed the Australian Sea-lion, which tend to be very active, intelligent and inquisitive. Gestation for Australian Sea-lions is 17.5 months, which is longer than any other seal species, which typically take 12 months.
“There are only 24 individual Australia Sea-lions in zoos or aquariums worldwide, and this pup is the sixth Australian Sea-lion at Taronga Zoo. While guests may admire Moby for his cuteness, we admire him for the hope that he represents,” said Unit Supervisor of Marine Mammals Andrew Irvine
Wild populations of this species are still struggling to recover since the ban on hunting earlier last century.
“This breeding program benefits the 13,000 Australian Sea-lions left remaining in the wild, which live in isolated groups along the coasts of South Australia and Western Australia,” Andrew said.
“Australians can help Australian Sea-lions like Moby in the wild by choosing to eat sustainable seafood certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Eating MSC-certified sustainable seafood means that Australians can be confident that seafood is caught sustainability, and won’t harm Australian Sea-lions,” said Andrew.
“This is especially timely given how much Australians love seafood at Christmas,” he said.
Moby and his mother Lexie can be seen throughout the day at Taronga Zoo Sydney’s Seal Cove these School Holidays, where Moby will be playfully exploring his new surroundings.