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Animals Up-Close

Encounters with the animals that call Mystic Aquarium home

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All animals
Eumetopias jubatus

Steller Sea Lions


Males: up to 11 feet long and up to 2,500 lbs. Females: up to 9.5 feet long and up to 800 lbs


Diet varies depending on time of year but mostly: mackeral, walleye pollock, salmon, Pacific cod, Pacific sand lace, flounder, capelin, squid


Open ocean ice, gravel or sandy beaches and rocky reefs


Cold to temperate subarctic waters of Northern Pacific Ocean, coasts of Alaska and California

Conservation Status


Least Concern


Near Threatened








Extinct in Wild



Steller sea lions will feed on over 100 different species of fish!

Among the largest species to call Mystic Aquarium home, the Steller sea lions are also the largest of the Otariidae family (the group that includes sea lions and fur seals). Males can reach sizes of 11 feet in length and 2,400 pounds, while females are smaller at nine-and-a-half feet in length and 700 pounds.

Because of their size and rotating rear flipper, Stellers can climb rocks or cliff faces, an action you can see in our Pacific Northwest habitat. While visiting this habitat, you’ll also see Astro! His story is nothing short of amazing.

Having been separated from his mother as a pup, Astro was rescued off the coast of California in 2006 and received outstanding care from the Marine Mammal Center for nearly a year. Following three attempts to return him to his natural environment, the Center realized Astro was not able to reintegrate into the wild sea lion population. Needing a permanent home, Astro arrived at Mystic Aquarium in 2008.


steller sea lion fact sheet

Steller Sea Lion Quick Facts


Steller sea lions are protected under both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The western distinct population segment is listed as endangered under the ESA. They are classified by the IUCN Red list as Near-Threatened.


Habitat loss, pollution, fishery and human interaction like entanglement, vessel strikes and illegal hunting, offshore oil and gas exploration.