California Sea Lion

(Zalophus californianus)


Animal Info

Seneca Park Zoo is home to four sea lions, three females and one male. Lily, the oldest female, was born in 2009. She was found stranded on a beach in Los Angeles County and rehabilitated at the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California. Her male offspring, Bob, was born here at the Zoo in June 2017. Females Mary Lou and Daley came to the Zoo in November 2017 from SeaWorld Orlando.

Status in the Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern. The California sea lion is a protected species throughout its range. Sea lions are known to damage fishing gear and steal or destroy fish, but can get caught or killed through this type of behavior. Despite conflicts with commercial and sport fisheries, the population continues to survive.


California sea lions live on offshore rocks and beaches on the Pacific west coast of North America from British Columbia to the coast of Mexico.


The sea lion eats fish, octopus, squid, mollusks and crustaceans.

Did you know?

A sea lion can dive up to 450-feet deep and remain submerged for 20 minutes without a breath.

Sea lions are different from seals in many ways. One difference is that sea lions have ear flaps called pinnea, which seals lack.

Natural predators of the sea lion are orcas and white sharks.

Sea lions move pretty well on land, using their hind flippers and fore flippers as feet.

Sea lions are some of the most gregarious sea mammals. They can form groups on land upwards of a thousand individuals at a time.

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