Californian sea lion

Californian sea lions

Zalophus californianus

IUCN status
Least concern
Find out more

Otarie de Californie - Animaux extraordinaires du ZooParc

« The Californian sea lion is the most wide-spread species in zoological parks across the globe. »

A high-flying swimmer

Almost as fast as Usain Bolt

Like all marine mammals, the Californian sea lion spends most of its life underwater and must come to the surface to breathe. It is an excellent swimmer with a top speed of 25 mph and can dive to depths of almost 300 m. If these numbers don’t mean anything to you, imagine a sea lion hurtling up to the top of the Eiffel Tower in less than 30 seconds! Its streamlined shape also allows it to move with astonishing agility in the sea, making it a truly outstanding hunter.

Californian sea lion

Did you know?

Medical training

Un Œil en Coulisse - Season 5 Episode 14

During the medical training with the sea lions, our teams were able to discover that Nola had damaged teeth! In this video, you can follow the intervention of a specialist in dentistry to treat her!

The Beauval Nature association

For the past 10 years, the Beauval Nature association has joined forces with field workers to support them in their primary mission of species conservation. Beauval works closely with numerous conservation and research programmes around the world to study and protect endangered species. This everyday action takes place in order to protect our biodiversity.

Californian sea lion

Beauval’s sea lions

Our Californian sea lions live in one of the largest pools in Europe

The sea lion’s elegance, agility, and intelligence make it the perfect ambassador for marine mammals in zoos.

Californian sea lion
Californian sea lion
Californian sea lion
Californian sea lion
Beauval Nature

Sponsor our sea lions

Establish a strong bond with your favourite animal whilst supporting conservation programmes through the Beauval Nature association!

Least concern

Learn more about the species

  • Diet
  • Gestation period
    11 months
  • Litter size
    1 young
  • Habitat
    Saltwaters, Rocky coasts

A diet rich in fat

The sea lion must keep its body temperature constant in order to safely move through the cold waters in which it lives. It therefore needs to eat roughly 15% of its body weight in food each day. Herring, squid, and sardines make up most of its diet. However, during the breeding season (from May to August), the male will stop eating; during this period he will live off his fat reserves whilst he protects his harem and defends the territory that he has claimed through confrontations with other males.

As comfortable on land as in the water

The sea lion mainly lives in an aquatic environment but will sometimes come onto dry land, for example, to give birth. Though other aquatic mammals, such as seals, walruses, and elephant seals are somewhat clumsy when not in the water, this is not true in the case of the agile sea lion! Thanks to the sea lion’s powerful fins, it is not only perfectly capable of moving on land but can in fact run faster than a human!

A playful animal

The Californian sea lion is the most wide-spread species in zoological parks across the globe. Its remarkable intelligence and its exceptional abilities make it an ideal artist for performing aquatic shows, such as the odyssée des lions de mer. But above all, it is the sea lion’s love of games and acrobatics that makes it perfect for this role! Training sessions and shows are synonymous with excitement and playtime for the sea lion!

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