POWELL, Ohio -- The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has announced the arrival of 10 California sea lions and four harbor seals on Friday.
According to a press release form the zoo, the arrivals have moved the zoo's newest region, Adventure Cove, toward completion.
The seals and sea lions traveled from Florida and arrived in Columbus on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at approximately 6:20 a.m.
The zoo says the seals (one male, three females) and sea lions (six males, four females) are settling in well in a behind-the-scenes area of the facility, where they will have the opportunity to begin exploring their new surroundings as final phases of the Adventure Cove region are completed.
Adventure Cove is on target to open in summer 2020, according to the zoo, though a specific date has not been set. The zoo says they remain closed to the public to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The harbor seals were born at SeaWorld Orlando and will live with the sea lions, as these species would encounter one another in their native ranges. Three of the sea lions were also born at SeaWorld Orlando.
The other six sea lions were born at different facilities all over the world, but they have lived together for about 10 years at a marine park in Shanghai, China called Changfeng Ocean World, the zoo said.
“The arrival of the sea lions and seals is extremely exciting. Months of positive reinforcement training helped prepare them for their move, and they are adjusting smoothly to their new surroundings," said Suzi Rapp, the Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Programs. "Not only do they continue to do very well as a strong social group, but they also share an incredibly close bond with their care team, who cared for them in Florida and who moved with them to Columbus."
"We remain committed to providing these amazing animals with top quality care, and we are looking forward to opportunities to continue inspiring our guests in a multitude of ways so we can all join in efforts to help make a difference for these species’ ocean homes, even from right here in central Ohio."