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|Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration Reveals Sea Lion Pups' New Names|
Today was a big day for the three new California sea lion pups at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration. In addition to celebrating their first birthday – complete with an icy fish treat for them and cake for guests – the pups received their highly anticipated names: Jetty for the male and Cali and Sakari for the two females.
Celebrity judges Miss Connecticut 2009 Sharalynn Kuziak, UConn Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Calhoun and Teresa Labarbera (standing in for WFSB-TV meteorologist and “Better Connecticut” co-host Scot Haney) were in attendance and revealed the pups’ new names to guests.
Throughout August, name ideas were submitted and voted upon by more than 2,000 people in 36 states during a public naming contest. The contest kicked off on July 28 and consisted of several parts. First, the public submitted name ideas through the aquarium’s Web site, mysticaquarium.org, through August 12. From these suggestions, the aquarium’s animal care staff and celebrity judges chose five finalist names for each pup. During the final phase, the public returned to the Web site to vote for their favorite names.
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“Because we rely so much on the public’s support, it was only natural that we engage them in naming our special new residents,” said Dr. Stephen Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation, Inc. “The name ideas we received were extremely creative and thoughtful, and we were happy to see that contest participants considered these pups’ stories when submitting names. The contest provided a great opportunity to remind everyone of the important animal rescue and rehabilitation work that we and other aquariums do on a regular basis.”
Jetty was found with pneumonia and rescued in Morro Bay Harbor in San Luis Obispo County, California, while Cali and Sakari come from SeaWorld San Diego’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Program. All three were rescued at approximately six months of age and treated for malnourishment and dehydration. They recovered well and were brought to Mystic for enhancement of the species.
The name Jetty was selected by the judging panel for its symbolism. A jetty protects the coastline from the effects of currents and tides, just as this pup is protecting his relatives in the wild by educating aquarium guests about sea lions. Sakari, an Inuit word for “sweet,” matches the more submissive female pup’s personality well. Cali was chosen by the judges as a finalist name, because it reflected their origin.
The pups will remain permanent residents of the aquarium. Currently, they are housed in the Aquatic Animal Study Center, which can be viewed from the Gurdon and Kathy Wattles Marine Mammal Observatory. Jetty will eventually join the other California sea lions in the aquarium’s daily sea lion shows, and Cali and Sakari will join the Steller sea lions and harbor seal in the Pribilof Islands exhibit.
See the complete contest results.
About The Marine Mammal CenterThe Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals – primarily elephant seals, harbor seals and California sea lions – and to the study of their health. Since 1975, the Center has been headquartered in the Marin Headlands, within the Golden Gate National Parks and has rescued and treated more than 14,000 marine mammals. The Center’s newly rebuilt headquarters in Sausalito gives visitors the unique opportunity to learn about marine mammals through animal rehabilitation, meal preparation and post mortem viewing platforms, as well as educational exhibits. The Marine Mammal Center is open to the public every day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, visit MarineMammalCenter.org.
About SeaWorld San DiegoSeaWorld San Diego is one of 10 Worlds of Discovery operated by Busch Entertainment Corporation, the family entertainment division of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Other Worlds of Discovery include SeaWorld parks in Orlando, Fla. and San Antonio; Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Fla. and Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia; Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park in Orlando; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. Worlds of Discovery, based in Orlando, play host to more than 25 million guests each year and employ more than 21,000 people nationwide. Leaders in conservation and education, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove care for the largest animal collection in the world and offer an education Web site especially for students and teachers at seaworld.org. Information on the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is at www.swbg-conservationfund.org. General park information is found at seaworld.com.
About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration. For more information, visit mysticaquarium.org.
This press release was published on August 27, 2009.
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