Oregon Coast Aquarium debuts new 9-year-old sea lion - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Coast Aquarium debuts new 9-year-old sea lion

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Koa (Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium) Koa (Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium)
(Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium) (Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium)
(Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium) (Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium)
NEWPORT, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Coast Aquarium has debuted a new sea lion to the Seal and Sea Lion Exhibit.

Koa the California sea lion is a 9-year-old sub-adult male. He moved from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California to Newport in March.

Koa spent seven months learning the Aquarium's training program and setting the stage for successful integration into the Aquarium's existing collection of seals and sea lions.

"Koa has such an expressive face," said Brittany Blades, who is the animal's primary trainer and a mammalogist at the Aquarium. "When he is excited about a training session, his eyes are open and bright and he is very attentive. If he is ready to do something different, his eyes glaze over and he starts looking around for a distraction." 

The exhibit was already home to eight harbor seals and three California sea lions, and their acceptance of Koa was important for his long-term well-being.

Trainers said Koa's integration into the exhibit went smoothly and he responded well to relocation of his feeding station and seeing Aquarium visitors through the acrylic.

Visitors can see Koa during daily Sea Lion Feeding Presentations or any time at the windows that peer into the exhibit.

Koa has two dark spots between his shoulders, distinguishing him from the other brown sea lions on exhibit.

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