Two special visitors, including the oldest captive bred Australian Sea Lion in Australia, are calling Sydney Aquarium's seal sanctuary home over summer.
The mother and daughter duo, Nicky and Opal, are spending their days frolicking in the water and jumping in tandem, drawing large crowds and providing a spectacle for visitors both under and above the water.
At 22 years of age, Nicky is the oldest captive bred Australian Sea Lion in Australia. Weighing 80kg she is also the largest inhabitant of Sydney Aquarium's seal sanctuary and is extremely impressive and majestic.
Her daughter Opal is 12 years old and equally as special as her mother. Opal has epilepsy and is medicated with the same medication humans take for the condition. Unfortunately she can't just pop a pill like humans, but the 65kg Sea Lion takes her medication each morning with her food, which the keepers carefully hide inside the gills of fish.
As Opal is quite young, the trainers at Sydney Aquarium have been doing a lot of behavioural techniques with her to provide stimulation and enrichment.
The entertaining pair has come down from Coffs Harbour and will be staying at Sydney Aquarium during summer. Both are set to return to their home on the north coast at the end of February.
Make sure you see these two very special animals while they are here. Sydney Aquarium is open 9am to 10pm every day. Visit www.sydneyaquarium.com.au
for the all latest attractions and special offers.
Interesting Australian Sea Lion facts:Adult male Seal Lions are up to twice the weight and length of females
Females are a silver grey colour with a creamy underbelly and males are dark brown with mane-like yellow features on their head and neck
This species is only found in Australian waters
Australian Sea Lion are considered rare as numbers are relatively small compared to other seals
The species is protected by Australian State and Federal government legislation