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Sea lion Ty sticks out his tongue, swimming with his head lifted out of the water.

California Sea Lion

The “lion” part of these marine mammals’ name is spot on. Sea lions are among the most vocal of all mammals, and the mountainous males can emit reverberating barks to defend their territories or court females.

Cruz sits on the rocks, listening to a nearby trainer shake a noise-making buoy for his attention.

A home for rescued sea lions

Three of Shedd's sea lions are rescues, but each came to the aquarium in a different way. Cruz was a pup when he was found blinded in both eyes on the California coast, while Laguna was found stranded and starving on California beaches—not once, but twice! Culling can be the next step, but government wildlife agencies and the marine mammal community collaborated to find him a home at Shedd.

“The trust Cruz, our rescued blind sea lion, has with us is truly remarkable. If you were to come to Shedd and see him zipping through the water and running around his habitat, you’d never know he had any visual impairment.”

Duke Stacey, animal care specialist

Rescued sea lion Cruz is blind, but that doesn’t keep him from training like the other animals! Our experts have built a program based on sound, touch and, most important, trust.

Meet the sea lions

On an Abbott Oceanarium visit, you might see California sea lions Laguna, Tanner and Cruz zooming around Grainger Sea Lion Cove or piled up for a nap. Even when you can’t see them, you can hear these aquatic predators throughout the Pacific Northwest exhibit when they start vocalizing—and living up to their common name.

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