PARIS (Reuters) - The Paris Zoological Park has seen an unusual animal baby boom in recent weeks, with the birth of a Patagonian sea lion, an Amazon bush dog, and a little puma.
The zoo, located in the Vincennes forest east of the French capital, said all three births were rare events. In Europe, only two other Patagonian sea lion babies were born this year, both in a zoo in Valencia, Spain.
“The three pups were are all born to first-time mothers. We are so happy that they have found their maternal instinct, which shows that they feel well enough in their enclosures to reproduce,” the zoo’s chief veterinarian, Alexis Lecu, told Reuters television.
The sea lion, born on July 24, already swims and dives with her mother in their glass-walled pond.
“This is quite amazing in itself, because contrary to what one might think, baby sea lions are afraid of water and can drown if they are not taught properly,” Lecu said.
Called Naya, the sea lion already weighs 22 kilos (48.5 lb). She will be gradually introduced to two bigger male seals.
The baby puma was born on Aug. 21 in the viewing bay in front of zoo visitors. The little cat has not yet opened its eyes and is staying close to its 10-year old mother. Visitors are kept at a distance so as not to disturb the animals.
The zoo said in a statement the father and another female puma in the enclosure were getting along well. The male was captured in Chile after it had taken to attacking livestock and brought to the zoo as it could not be reintroduced to the wild.
The oldest of the three is a bush dog, born the day before the sea lion, and the sole survivor of a litter of three. It is part of a breeding programme with 150 dogs in about 40 zoos.
Reporting by Clotaire Achi and Geert De Clercq, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien
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