JACKSON, NJ -- Six Flags Great Adventure's animal care team is celebrating the birth of two playful, female California sea lion pups to two first-time moms at the world's largest theme park in Jackson, New Jersey.
Piper, born June 5, and Ridley, born June 18, are both high-spirited and full of energy, according to Jessica Peranteau, senior supervisor of animal training.
Piper shares a birthday with her father Kenobi. Along with her lively spirit, Piper is very playful and she seems to enjoy blowing bubbles into the water, Peranteau said. Mother Dichali does an excellent job making sure Piper does not get herself into any trouble.
"She has no qualms about sassing the trainers or her mother through vocalizations," Peranteau said. "She is exploring her independence at an early age."
Ridley is the smallest sea lion pup born at Six Flags Great Adventure, weighing in at 15 pounds. She is very energetic, and her mother Ella lets Ridley have her fun, Peranteau noted.
She is named after the endangered Ridley sea turtle species, because of her unique flipper movements. The pup tends to move her fore flippers side-to-side rather than up-and-down, which reminds her trainers of a sea turtle's walk.
Sea lion pups are not competent swimmers when born. According to Peranteau, Ridley's swimming proficiency makes her unique.
"She finds sliding down the hill on our stage especially rewarding and fun," Peranteau said.
Piper and Ridley are expected to reach 110 to 220 pounds when full grown. Guests can see the pups and their mothers at the park's SeaFari Theater in The Golden Kingdom section of the theme park. Guests can also visit California sea lion Anoki and her year-old pup Magoo, the first sea lion born at the theme park, plus six adorable and mischievous Asian small-clawed otters.
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