Feeding Schedule

Times posted at the habitat

Animal Facts
Common Name:
California Sea Lion
Scientific Name:
Zalophus californianus
  • Extremely social mammals, but sexes are often separate outside of breeding season.
  • Males are territorial and maintain a harem of around 15 females.
  • These marine mammals can dive to depths of 500 feet or more and stay underwater for 20 minutes.
  • They are often exceptionally noisy and wonderfully playful.
700 lb
7 ft
Life Span:
20 yrs
Gestation Period:
330 days
Number of Young:
  • Marine
Fun Facts:
  • Pups can weigh up to 20 pounds and measure up to 30 inches long.
  • Females are significantly smaller than the males.
  • By sticking their flippers out of the water, they can regulate their body temperature.
  • Sea lions, unlike seals, have external ear flaps and can rotate their hind flippers forward.
  • Sadly, they are at risk from becoming entangled in discarded fishing nets and other debris.
  • Disease
Endangered Status
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)

In California, a massive stranding event in 2015 resulted in thousands of California sea lions stranding. The two at the North Carolina Zoo stranded as pups, were rehabilitated and released, but soon stranded again. We received the pups to ensure their survival and they are thriving as adults. 

Saving Species Plan Logo

This species is cooperatively managed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program program. This program is responsible for developing a Breeding and Transfer Plan for each species in the program.