Ron the sea lion pup was born last July, which means Tipper would be celebrating her first Mother’s Day.

You know, if sea lions observed Mother’s Day, that is.

Of course, we take every chance we get to celebrate our sea lions and fur seals, so we wanted to mark the occasion with a special enrichment activity in the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center

Tipper and Ron snuggling
Tipper is a wonderful mom, patient and doting.

Enrichment is just like playtime. It encourages natural behaviors like foraging, grooming, tracking, and play, as well as increases physical activity. It also engages the seals and sea lions in problem-solving and enhances their environment in a variety of ways.

The special Mother’s Day enrichment was presented to both Tipper and Ron. Even at 100 pounds and 9 months old, he is still a puppy and spends a lot of time with his mother, nursing and snuggling. 

Tipper and ron
The pair eagerly awaited to see what the trainers were presenting them.
Tipper and Ron sniff flowers
Flowers! These are gelatin flowers with natural food dye and molds to look like flowers.
Ron inspects flowers
Toys for the marine mammals offer different textures and shapes to explore. Gelatin is a favorite. 
Ron chomps a flower
Ron inspects the gelatin—with his mouth.

This Mother’s Day enrichment activity turned out to be lots of fun—especially for Ron, who is exploring and playing with new things every day. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and mom-figures out there!

Come celebrate moms with us today—like the patient, supporting, playful sea lion Tipper at the New England Aquarium.

Ron the sea lion pup
Ron being his most adorable self