Month-Old California Sea Lion Pup makes Public Debut at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill. – A male California sea lion pup born on June 10 has a name—Charger and can now be seen at Brookfield Zoo’s Pinniped Point. His mom, 9-year-old Josephine, led the way when the two were given access to their outdoor habitat for the first time since Charger’s birth a month ago. While getting acclimated to his new surroundings, the pup will continue to have access to the indoor area.

Since his birth, animal care staff estimate Charger has nearly doubled his weight to approximately 40 pounds. He has been growing steadily due to the richness of their mothers’ milk, which is high in fat. Within the next month, staff will introduce him to a diet of fish, however, Charger will nurse for at least five to six months and may continue to do so for a year.

            Those interested in helping care for the California sea lions at Brookfield Zoo can contribute to the Animal Adoption program. For $35, the recipient will receive the Basic Package, which includes a 5-inch x 7-inch color photograph and fact sheet about the species, a personalized adoption certificate, an Animal Adoption car decal, and an invitation to the annual Animal Adoption Evening. For further information, visit CZS.org/AnimalAdoption.

Although not threatened in their natural habitat along the west coast of North America from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, to the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico, California sea lions still face challenges. Threats include entanglement in fishing gear, toxins they ingest from their prey, intentional dumping of toxic and hazardous waste, and changes in global atmosphere pressure that affects the availability of prey. Today, the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act protects all marine mammals, including California sea lions.

            Brookfield Zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield. Admission to the zoo is $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Parking is $14.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.

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