Stellar baby sea lion in Vancouver helps research rebuild species

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The Vancouver Aquarium says one of its Stellar Sea Lions has given birth to a healthy pup.

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A statement from the aquarium says the birth took place recently and the male pup, named Natoa, and his first mother, Rogue, are doing well.

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The mother and pup are in a private area of ​​the aquarium, but the release says they will be moved to the Seal Cove exhibit for public viewing.

Natoa is named after a sea lion birthing and roosting area in Alaska, in recognition of efforts to replenish populations of endangered Stellar Sea Lions in that state.

The statement said the aquarium and a consortium of universities have been working on a project since 1993 to study the decline or disappearance of up to 75% of wild sea lions in Alaska.

Mackenzie Neale, the director of animal care at the aquarium, said the search for and birth of Natoa is a key part of the species’ recovery program.

“This program provides science-based, conservation-focused advice to further support and ensure a genetically diverse and sustainable global population for years to come,” Neale said in the statement.

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