OMAHA — Visitors to the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium can check out two newborn sea lions in the Owen Sea Lion Pavilion.
The first pup was born on June 12 to 9-year-old Gemini. Another was born Tuesday to Coco, who was born at the Omaha zoo in June 2009.
The sex of the pups is currently unknown. The pups and their mothers are on display with the father of both pups, 15-year-old Chino, according to the zoo.
The zoo now has eight sea lions — two adult males, four adult females and the two pups.
Visitors will notice that a significant amount of water has been drained from the sea lions’ pool. This was done in preparation for the pups’ births, and the water will remain lower until the pups have learned to swim in deeper water.
Zoo officials said mothers start teaching their pups to swim when they’re just a few days old by pulling them into the water for short periods of time, each time getting farther and deeper.
In 2020, the zoo will open Owen Sea Lion Shores. The new habitat will include elements such as natural boundaries, underwater viewing and a natural beach that will allow females to give birth on land and gradually introduce their pups to the water, as they would in their natural habitats.