El Paso, Texas (May 1, 2013) The El Paso Zoo is excited to welcome 14-year-old LB, a California sea lion, to the Zoo family. LB is now on exhibit with his new companion, Sushi. He arrived at the Zoo on March 5 and has since been behind the scenes for the regular 30 day quarantine, getting to know his new exhibit and companion, and bonding with staff.
“We really miss Sunny so we’re excited to see a male sea lion here. We’re glad LB and Sushi both have companions now and we’re looking forward to possibly having pups in the future,” said Area Supervisor Amanda Leverett.
LB arrived in El Paso with two of his keepers from Gulf Word in Florida. His keepers worked with our staff to make sure that they knew all about him and that they learned all of his training commands- all of which are different than Sunny’s were.
Keepers learned quickly that LB is very strong-willed, eager to participate in training and that he’s always hungry. LB’s diet currently includes 38 pounds of fish- the equivalent to over 15,000 calories a day. At his quarantine exam, he weighed in at 537 pounds and keepers are working to get him up to 600 pounds.
LB came to the El Paso Zoo with a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program. The Zoo hopes to have success in breeding LB and Sushi to sire pups.
“We’re very happy to have LB at our Zoo. He is a wonderful addition and we’re excited for the opportunity to have a big male sea lion back at the zoo”, said Zoo Director Steve Marshall.
Sushi, also 14 years old, has been getting to know her new companion and was excited to welcome him. Sushi has been striving to get LB’s attention by twirling, spinning and swimming rapidly by him in an attempt to get him to chase her. Keepers say it’s very entertaining to observe their dynamic.
Sushi will continue with the daily sea lion presentations at this time. LB will be off exhibit during presentations. Daily presentations take place daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Locally recognized as the Best Place to Take the Kiddos, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres of fun and adventure. Bigger and better than ever, the El Paso Zoo is an expansive green space that is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the African Star train and the Hunt Family Desert Spring. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo celebrates the value of animals and natural resources and creates opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. For more information, visit elpasozoo.org. For news and exclusive content, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/elpasozoo) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/theelpasozoo).