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29 August 2013

Subic Sea Lion Gives Birth

After the heartbreaking death of a baby dolphin, Subic marine park Ocean Adventure sea lion star Brandy gave birth to her second baby last Aug. 18.

This is the eighth pup born in the successful sea lion breeding program of the marine theme park. According to a park statement, the birth is "proof indeed of Ocean Adventure's ongoing commitment to the highest quality of care and welfare for their animals."

Weighing approximately 6 kilograms at birth, Brandy's baby pup was vocalizing with her within minutes, a sign of acknowledgement from the mother.

"In the wild, sea lion pups are born at the same time every year beaches filled with hundreds of sea lions," the statement confirmed. It added that moms and babies find one another by recognizing each others' unique vocalizations.

The pup was successfully nursing from the mother within hours from birth, and will continue to do so for the next seven to eight months of its childhood.

"In a few months she will begin to play with fish, eating small pieces in the process, until she is eating whole fish by about six months old," the statement said.

"This heartwarming pair is special because Brandy was diagnosed with bilateral mature cataracts four years ago. Although nearly blind, she is doing a remarkable job of caring for her second pup and the bond between mother and daughter is strong," a park official stated.

Because Brandy enjoys "working," she is a well known star of the environmentally-themed Sea Lion Marine Patrol show. She will be taking a long break from her starring role to enjoy motherhood and introduce her pup to the rest of the sea lion group in the near future.

Ocean Adventure's sea lions play a major role in the park's advocacy of environmental protection and species conservation.

"While we recover from the recent calamity brought about by typhoon "Maring" and the Habagat, Brandy and her pup is a reminder to us all to take an active role in caring for the environment," the official added.

Ocean Adventure is an advocate for action. All the shows and exhibits are designed to enlighten and empower the public through highly educational and quality entertainment products. (Jonas Reyes, Manila Bulletin)

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