The Shark and Ray Touch Tank is temporarily closed for maintenance.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
You may find the California sea lions in this open-air exhibit lounging on the deck, playing in the shallows, or zooming around in the water.
Know Before You Go
The Aquarium’s marine mammal trainers are available to answer questions about the sea lions’ strength, intelligence, and athleticism.
- This is an open-air exhibit. It’s open year round, so you may want to hang onto your coat if you’re planning to stop by in the colder months!
Animals in This Exhibit
Unlike the Aquarium’s resident Atlantic harbor seals, California sea lions are part of the “eared” seal family.
Don’t Worry, California Sea Lions Don’t Mind the Cold!
California sea lions are native to the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, growing thick layers of blubber to stay warm. We feed our California sea lions responsibly sourced seafood, but in the wild, they rely on cold waters for their food sources. Climate change and warming ocean waters pose a threat to California sea lions—and their food sources.
Zoe and Sierra’s Story
Zoe and Sierra were rescued as pups by the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center because their mothers were sick from eating shellfish that contained domoic acid. Hand-raised pups cannot be released back into the ocean because they have not learned how to survive in an ocean environment, so in June 2011, Zoe and Sierra were transferred to be cared for by the New England Aquarium.
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