Alaska SeaLife Center announces debut of Steller sea lion pup, Perl
August 26, 2016

Seward, Alaska (August 25, 2016) – After much anticipation, the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is pleased to announce the public debut of Perl, a Steller sea lion pup born at the ASLC on July 1, 2016. Visitors to the Center will have the opportunity to see Perl with mother Eden on five weekends (Fri/Sat/Sun) from 11:00am to 2:00pm, beginning Friday, August 26 through Sunday, September 25. 

“Perl’s debut is a highly anticipated event,” said President and CEO Tara Riemer. “We are thrilled to be able to share this special moment with our visitors, members and friends.” 

Born to 16-year old Eden and 7-year old Pilot, Perl is named after Perl Island, one of the Chugach Islands in the Gulf of Alaska. She is the third Steller sea lion born at the ASLC. Similar to Perl’s half-siblings—3-year-old Ellie and 2-year-old Forrest—Perl will assist scientists in understanding the physiological requirements of a healthy Steller sea lion.

“There has been a lot of hard work and preparation leading up to Perl’s successful birth, and the staff is excited at the important addition she will be to our research. We are also very grateful to the mammal husbandry staff here at the ASLC for their care, dedication and enthusiasm to making this work possible,” said ASLC Research Associate Renae Sattler. 

Permitted under the National Marine Fisheries Service, the ASLC study seeks to further understand the female reproductive cycle in hopes of identifying causes contributing to the declining population trends observed in the wild. Some populations are currently listed as endangered. Initial studies focused on the reproductive cycle and tracking the health of the female throughout pregnancy. Recently this study was expanded to include collaboration with the University of British Columbia to investigate energetic costs of pregnancy and lactation in adult females, and the energetic needs of pups for healthy growth.  

About the ASLC 
Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. It generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. 
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