Moody Gardens is pleased to welcome our newest addition to our North Pacific Exhibit! We introduced Sam the California sea lion, from the Utica Zoo, to his new aquatic friends in the Aquarium Pyramid.Sam_entering_AQ_exhibit_for_first_time

Sea lions, Dino and Squirt along with Porter, the harbor seal, are quite intrigued with their new friend and staff will be monitoring them closely to see how their chemistry builds. As an Association of Zoos & Aquariums facility, cooperation and assistance amongis a cornerstone of the zoo and aquarium community which is why Moody Gardens staff is quite excited about the new opportunity with the Utica Zoo.

“Getting Sam was a great opportunity to add to the North Pacific Exhibit,” said Diane Olsen, Assistant Curator of Seals and Penguins, who discussed the anticipation of his arrival. “Utica Zoo was expecting a new pup and needed to move Sam and we were able to help by providing him a home.”

California sea lions are usually found on islands off of Southern California and Baja California in Mexico, up the U.S. West Coast to Vancouver Island, Canada. Spending his entire young life at the Utica Zoo, Sam will be joining a very fascinating group of mammals. Squirt, a rescued blind sea lion who was found off of the Santa Barbara shore, Porter, a harbor seal who was also rescued off of the coast of Maine after being abandoned and Dino, the over 800 pound California sea lion who was acquired from the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo back in 2010. As Dino enters into his senior years, Sam is expected to be a social and active addition for the other seals and sea lion in the exhibit.


Although it will take a little bit of time for Sam to get acclimated to his new environment, you can now go check him out at the North Pacific Exhibit. If you cannot make it to Sam’s new habitat at the Aquarium Pyramid you can watch him live on the seal cam at which is available 24 hours a day seven days a week.