HOUSTON (KTRK) --We have a "pup-date' on the Houston Zoo's baby sea lion! The six-week-old female California sea lion has been named TJ by two of the zoo's donors.
Joe and Cathy Cleary won the honor of naming the pup at the zoo's annual fundraising gala in April--Zoo Ball. The Clearys named the pup after their first two grandchildren, Tanner and Jack.
The pup has also begun swim lessons behind-the-scenes. Unlike most marine mammals, sea lions don't swim when they're born, so must be taught gradually by their mothers.
TJ's mother, Kamia, has been cautiously allowing TJ to play in ever-increasing depths of water under the careful supervision of her trainers. Currently, TJ is swimming in about three feet of water. Next, the trainers will continue to deepen the water in the pool, as well as begin introductions to the other three California sea lions, before making her public debut in several weeks.