Sealion pup makes first splashes at Whipsnade
Friday 4 August 2000
BABY SEALION TAKES A DIP AT THE DEEP END AT WHIPSNADE
Making a big splash for visitors this summer is Whipsnade Wild Animal Park's latest new arrival, Marvin the sealion pup. He was born to proud parents Berkley (father) and Liz at the end of June, and has been making his first forays into the three sealion pools, with the other member of the extended sealion family, female Salt
Marvin has already started to loose his woolly birth coat – just in time for the long-awaited arrival of the British summer - which keeps the sealion pup warm until a protective layer of blubber has formed under the coat, and the fur becomes sleek and fully waterproof, just like his mum!
At just over half a metre long at the moment, Marvin is expected to grow anything up to 2.2 metres in length and could weigh around 275kg.
Says keeper Jim Gregory: "I’ve been quite envious watching Marvin splash about in the recent hot spell! Sealions have a gestation period of 11 months, so we've waited a long time for this one! The fully grown sealions are a favourite with visitors and already the new pup has become a real hit."
- Sealions use their flippers like legs and can outpace a human, over a short distance, when fully grown
- They have the ability to remain underwater holding their breath for up to five minutes at a time
- Sealion pups are born on land and after a few weeks are introduced to the water by their mother
- Their whiskers are very well developed and are used to detect vibrations in the water
Breeding, feeding, sleeping, creeping, moving, staying, fighting, playing – Zoo is an intimate portrait of animals and keepers behind the scenes at London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. Zoo is on BBC1 from 7.30pm every Wednesday evening.
For more information, please contact:
Miranda Kennett-Scott: 015852 872171.
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