Local

Chaffee Zoo sea lions heading to new home

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The sea lions at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo are used to attracting quite a bit of attention.

Soon though, they'll be playing and swimming in a much larger space when they move into their new home at Sea Lion Cove.

"It's going to be a completely different life for them. What they have now is great and suitable for them, however this is amazing," said Adrienne Castro, Zoo Director of Education about the new exhibit.

On Wednesday, zoo keepers will introduce the first sea lion to its brand new home, an enormous 240,000 gallon pool modeled after the landscape of the Central Coast.

"We have a new little girl seal and she is in quarantine. She'll be the first one to move over with two pelicans. They do not know the others, so we'll put them in first and I think she'll love it and shortly thereafter we'll introduce our other seals and sea lion buck," Castro said.

For the past year, crews have been working on the exhibit, which is eight times larger than the sea lion's current home. The new space will also allow members to see the animals up close, something the Roberts' family of Clovis is excited to experience.

"This way you can actually see them swimming under water and how they interact in their environment," said Ryan Roberts of Clovis about the new feature.

"It seems very top of the line, state of the art. So just having a neat new exhibit like this is great to have here in Fresno," said Karle Roberts of Clovis.

Zoo officials say the new exhibit will put Fresno on the map.

"This is probably one of the best sea lion exhibits in the nation, if not the world. This is truly done by measure z and our community supporting us. We wanted to show them what we can do," Castro said.

Construction crews are putting the final details on the new exhibit. Officials hope to open the sea lion cove to zoo goers at the end of August.

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chaffee zoo, animal, local, amanda venegas
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