12:15 PM

Sea Lion Joins Oceans of Fun at Hersheypark in December 2022

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

Hersheypark, in partnership with Ocean Connections, today announced that a juvenile California sea lion named Cruz has joined the flippered family at Hersheypark

Cruz is one of six animals that reside at the 50-year-old Aquatheatre inside Hersheypark. He joins another California seal lion named Ripley, three Atlantic harbor seals named Cocoa (the first seal born at Hersheypark), Cobh and Harper, and a rescued gray seal pup named Bowie, who was most recently introduced to the group in January 2022.

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 growing and eats 10 pounds of fish daily. Cruz was then ready to join his new family at Hersheypark.

His new big brother, Ripley, welcomed him 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 already so loved by the animal care team! His formal training has just begun. While he continues to adjust and gain confidence, the team at Ocean Connections is taking everything at his pace so guests may not see him during events at the Aquatheatre just yet.

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.