Dom the sea lion pup makes a splash at Whipsnade!
Tuesday 24 July 2007
He’s shiny, black and loves the water, that’s Dominic, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s first sea lion pup for five years.
Mother Salt successfully gave birth to the cute fella with the flippers on 12th June at 6.40pm, under the watchful eyes of staff on a close circuit TV monitor. He’s been called Dom after the BBC Radio One breakfast show newsreader Dominic Byrne whose favourite animal at the zoo is the pup’s dad, Berkley.
The crew of the Chris Moyles Show recently took the opportunity to throw a few suggested names into the ring, helped by listeners and played the “voice” of the new pup on air. Staff at the zoo thought it was a fitting tribute to choose the name Dom, after Dominic, Berkley’s biggest fan.
Proud mother Salt, who is 18, has been carefully nurturing her new pup and according to keepers is being a fantastic mum. The pup is doing well and will enjoy his mother’s rich milk for some time before moving on to fish.
Dom will be introduced gradually to the zoo’s other female sea lion Liz and then dad Berkley and is on show periodically in the indoor pool. By the end of the summer it is hoped he will begin swimming in the arena pool and eventually will take part in the demonstrations.
The Californian sea lions are a constant summer favourite at the zoo’s Splashzone arena.