The Oregon Coast Aquarium (OCAq) has welcomed a new addition to its sea lion colony: Nemo the 24 year-old male California sea lion.
Nemo came to OCAq from Animal Training and Research International Center (ATR Intl) at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, located in Monterey, California. Prior to his arrival to ATR Intl in 1998, Nemo was found stranded at two years of age. Nemo was one of the many victims of El Niño conditions, a climate event that disrupts food chains and adversely impacts marine animals. Nemo also sustained an injury to his jaw that required the removal of bone fragments and multiple teeth. As this would compromise his ability to catch prey, Nemo was deemed non-releasable.
During his many years at ATR Intl, Nemo participated in cooperative research training, education programs, and public outreach. Recently, ATR Intl suffered severe financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, and it was determined that finding new homes for their animals was the best way to ensure their long-term care and welfare.
“I’m glad to have found a facility with such a similar outlook of compassionate care to my own to provide the best ‘retirement home’ for Nemo at this point in his life,” said ATR Intl owner Dr. Jenifer Zeligs.
As is standard procedure, Nemo will spend 30 days in medical quarantine before he meets the rest of OCAq’s pinnipeds, including fellow California sea lions Catalina and Rosa.
“He is already developing a good foundation of trust with OCAq’s mammalogists,” said OCAq’s Curator of Marine Mammals Brittany Blades. “Our staff has experience with caring for geriatric sea lions and focus on giving them the best quality of life we can while they are in their golden years.”
About Oregon Coast Aquarium
The Oregon Coast Aquarium creates unique and engaging experiences that connect visitors to the Oregon Coast and inspire ocean conservation. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit the aquarium at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Follow on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates.
Press release and photos courtesy the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Originally posted February 14, 2022.