Now there's four in the show
Friday 12 March 2010
Soft-hearted sealion mother Salt is set for a busy time at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, after allowing son Dom to move his two new mates into the family home - right on the eve of their Sealion Splash demonstration restarting.
The two new female pups, Lara and Bailey, are new partners for pup Dominic and it’s hoped they will become a breeding group when he reaches maturity. The females now share the three pools with Dom and mum Salt, who is 24.
Being the head of the household, Salt is laying down a few ground rules for the new incumbents, who are lively to say the least, say keepers.
Alex Pinnell, senior keeper, said: “Salt’s not got much patience with the two females and even Dom’s a bit scared of the new girls, but it’s still early days.
"Salt is really just establishing her hierarchy and literally telling the girls off when they get in her way by barking at them and chasing them.
"She’s the eldest and she’s been here first so they will eventually get the message!”
Alex and fellow keepers have begun behaviour training with the new pups which allows them to have regular health checks all over. It includes opening their mouths, lying down and lifting a flipper for inspection.
Training occurs regularly at the outdoor pool and the shows begin twice-daily from Saturday 20 March and then three times a day over the Easter holidays.
So for an alternative treat, keeping all your young pups happy, a visit to see Whipsnade’s sealions could be just the ticket. It’s now the only wild animal park in Bedfordshire where you see these amazing creatures.