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Long Live the Sea Lions

March 27, 2024

Long Live the Sea Lions

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Sarah Rashed Sarah Rashed

At the Wildlife Conservation’s New York Aquarium, a question that the animal trainers are asked all the time is, “How old can sea lions live to be?”

Wild sea lions typically live about 10-15 years, but under human care, they can live into their late 20s and even early 30s; nearly tripling their lifespan.

At our Aquarium, California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) don’t have to deal with predators or pollution. They receive restaurant-quality fish, daily vitamins, and most importantly on-site veterinary care.

Our sea lions learn to participate in their own healthcare. We call this husbandry training, which is the specific type of training that we do to provide any necessary medical care for our animals.

Our trainers work closely with our veterinary staff to train several husbandry behaviors such as general body layouts and examinations, X-rays, ultrasounds, teeth brushing, eye drops, vaccines, and even voluntary blood samples. California sea lion Bruiser (above, inset) can be seen voluntarily taking part in X-rays of his front flippers (above) to make sure they are healthy.

Completing routine X-rays with our sea lions can ensure they get the medical attention they need to live long lives.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Check out this video of Bruiser’s X-ray.

Brooklyn, US Map It


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Stacy Ratel
March 27, 2024 at 10:33 am

Wonderful blog! Bruiser is an extraordinary creature. He has hugged me and it changed my life forever. ♥️

WCS Photo Blog
March 28, 2024 at 10:35 am

Thanks, Stacy. We feel the same. We are glad that Bruiser brought joy to you.