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Hersheypark Celebrates National Pennsylvania Day with Oceans of Fun Sea Lion

Meet Cruz, One of Six Animals That Teach Guests About Marine Life and Conservation

Hersheypark, in partnership with Ocean Connections, is celebrating National Pennsylvania Day by meeting one of Pennsylvania's newest residents right here at Hersheypark, California sea lion Cruz!

Cruz is one of five animals that reside at the more than 50-year-old Aquatheatre inside Hersheypark. He joins another California sea lion named Ripley and three Atlantic harbor seals named Cocoa (the first seal born at Hersheypark), Cobh and Harper.

Follow @Hersheypark and @OceanConnectionsOfficial on Facebook and Instagram for updates on Cruz and details about public appearances.

Cruz's Story 

On Memorial Day 2021, Cruz was born at the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn, New York, to his mother, Ariana. He achieved all the major sea lion pup milestones by her side, including nursing, learning to swim, and beginning to eat fish. He currently weighs 115 pounds and is constantly growing, as he typically eats around 10 pounds of fish daily. Cruz was then ready to join his new family at Hersheypark.

Cruz was welcomed last year by his new big brother, Ripley, with lots of happy romping and play. It was fun to see Ripley by his side as he confidently explored his new home. Cruz is an incredibly playful, curious and energetic youngster and is so loved by the animal care team! With his formal training beginning upon his arrival at Hersheypark, Cruz continues to adjust and gain confidence, and the team at Ocean Connections is taking everything at his pace. He can now be seen performing at the Ocean Connections show, so stop by and say hi to Cruz and his crew!

Facts about Sea Lions

Check out these fun facts about sea lions, courtesy of Ocean Connections.

  • Sea lions can hold their breath for 15-20 minutes.
  • Sea lions can reach speeds up to 25 mph.
  • A female sea lion's gestation period is 12 months, including a 3-month delayed implantation. During this time, the fertilized egg is free-floating and not attached to the uterine wall.
  • Pups nurse for 6-12 months.
  • California sea lions can be found as far north as British Columbia, along the coast of California and as far south as Mexico.
  • Sea lions are capable of diving to depths of up to 1100 feet.
  • A group of sea lions is called a rookery.

For more information on how to see Cruz, Ripley, Cocoa, Cobh, Harper and the Ocean Connections team, check the Our Friends of the Sea section on the Hersheypark website or app. Also, do not forget to look into our Flippered Friends experience, which allows you to meet and feed the animals, take pictures and chat with our team of experts.