MYSTIC, Conn. (WPRI) — Mystic Aquarium will provide a permanent home for two sea lions rescued from the California coast this year, the aquarium announced Tuesday.
The 2-year-old male and female arrived in Connecticut on June 26, where they have been receiving veterinary care and enrichment training.
The pair were found emaciated and dehydrated on a California beach, part of an Unusual Mortality Event for the species in 2015, when a record number of sea lions were found stranded.
Several attempts to re-release the pair failed, and after being deemed “non-releasable” by NOAA Fisheries, they were transferred to Mystic from Sausalito, California.
Mystic Aquarium held an online poll and voting process for the public to name the sea lions, who are “important new ambassadors of the species.” The male was named Ripley, and the female, Clara.
The pair will remain in quarantine for several months for the safety of other animals at Mystic Aquarium, and are anticipated to make their public debut later in the year.