(12 July 2012, Hong Kong) On the festive occasion of the opening of Polar Adventure, Ocean Park is thrilled to announce the first-ever birth of a Northern sea lion in Hong Kong. Beach, one of the Northern sea lions to be featured in North Pole Encounter, gave birth to a male pup, weighing 10kg, at noon yesterday. Both mother and newborn are resting comfortably in the back-of-house area under close monitoring by Park staff. The newborn pup has begun to drink milk from its mother and although doing well in the first 24 hours of its life, it will be nursing and dependent on its mother’s milk for several months. Meanwhile, Beach will spend at least the next two weeks intensively nursing her new born pup in order for it to gain weight and the strength to swim.
Northern sea lions normally breed during the months of May through July and infant mortality at breeding rookeries is normally very high during the first three months of the breeding season. Ocean Park’s animal care and veterinary teams provide world-class care and dedicate their lives to these extraordinary animals. The Park’s staff are supporting Beach and her new pup around the clock, monitoring both animals’ behavior to ensure the pup is feeding normally and that Beach is producing enough milk for the pup to thrive during these critical days of its life.
The pup will eventually join its mother and brother as animal ambassadors for Polar Adventure to help raise awareness of the impact of global climate change on polar animals and habitats.