MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Three new faces are now swimming through the water at Memphis Zoo. The zoo announced it added three new female sea lions!
"Remy," "Catalina," and "Buttercup" are now living in the sea lion exhibit at Northwest Passage.
All three girls were born at SeaWorld San Antonio. They arrived at Memphis Zoo in June 2016, but they remained off-exhibit while they adjusted to their new home.
"During the time they were off-exhibit, they learned basic behaviors that allow our trainers to work with them in close proximity," said Courtney Janney, curator of large mammals. "Buttercup, the youngest, was the first to be introduced to our existing group of sea lions, and Remy and Catalina were introduced in February."
Janney said the integration went well, and now zoo visitors can see all eight sea lions on exhibit before 10 a.m. and after 3:30 p.m.
With the new additions to the zoo's sea lion family, the daily sea lion shows will be a little bit different.
"Our visitors love our sea lion shows, and they're not going anywhere," Janney said. "They will, however, be different for a period of time, as our new girls have to learn the expansive repertoire of behaviors our current animals exhibit during a show."
Although occasionally shorter, the 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. shows will remain relatively unchanged. The older sea lions will still perform the majority of the behaviors, while a trainer works with one of the new additions during the show.
Meanwhile, the 1:30 p.m. show will be a training session for the new sea lions"
"Sessions might be a little shorter for a time," Janney said. "It's important that Remy, Catalina, and Buttercup get used to working with a trainer on exhibit with crowds present. It does take time to learn the patience to engage with a trainer for 10 to 15 minutes at a time."