Houston Zoo welcomes first sea lion pup since 1994

HOUSTON – A California sea lion pup was born June 28 at the Houston Zoo, zoo officials announced Wednesday.

The female pup and its mother, Kamia, began bonding immediately, and Kamia was seen nursing within hours.

The still-to-be-named pup is gaining weight, being introduced to water, and spending more time with her keepers.

The public will have to wait to see the two together because behind-the-scenes bonding will last for a while.

“The bonding between Kamia and her pup is going extremely well, and the pup is healthy, very active and very curious,” said Sophia Darling, the zoo's supervisor of sea lions. “The pup loves exploring around the area.”

This is the first birth of a sea lion at the Houston Zoo since 1994. It is also the first pup for Kamia and its father, Jonah.

From the Houston Zoo:

"The sea lions at the Houston Zoo play a major part in the zoo’s Take Action conservation initiatives. As ambassadors for the sustainable seafood program, the sea lions help guests understand that the simple choices they make can have a big impact on animals.

"The zoo’s sea lions eat 23,850 pounds of responsibly caught, sustainable fish each year. Sustainable seafood is defined as seafood that is either responsibly wild-caught or farm-raised that not only keeps current populations of marine wildlife at balanced numbers, but ensures (that) they thrive over the long term. The methods by which the seafood is harvested or raised must not cause undue harm to the ocean.

"The Houston Zoo strongly believes that embracing the use of sustainable seafood is one of the best ways we can all protect our oceans’ health. To learn more about sustainable seafood, and all of the Houston Zoo’s Take Action initiatives, click here.