(WMC-TV) – The Memphis Zoo's new sea lion pup is taking swimming lessons.
Action News 5 paid a visit to the zoo to find out how the new pup, Teva, is getting along. The zoo released behind-the-scenes video of Teva learning to swim with zoo trainers.
Zoo President Chuck Brady said the handlers have to teach Teva how to swim because pups do not instinctively know how.
"What happens with a sea lions that are not with their mother is they get in trouble because they can't find their way in and out of the water," said Brady. "That's why you have to be very careful and swim with them because they might end up running out of steam and drowning because they can't find their way out."
Before taking the plunge, Brady said Teva must start out with baby steps.
"One of the jobs of the handlers is to make sure the youngster knows the ins and outs of the pool, where to go in and out," said Brady. "The next thing we'll do is introduce her to some of the other sea lions."
Teva is a California sea lion pup and was born in June. She made her media debut in July.
She is the fifth sea lion to join the Memphis Zoo's Northwest Passage exhibit.