Adorable rescued sea lion pup begs for attention
This adorable Sea Lion pup had to be rescued and cared for at a wildlife sanctuary, until he is old enough to be released back into the wild. Since the goal is to return him to his natural habitat, we can't let him get tame, or he'll have to spend the rest of his life in captivity, so we can't pet him or cuddle him, no matter how much he begs for attention. In fact, no time is spent with him more than necessary. When this video was recorded, his enclosure was getting repaired, so he had to be distracted, to let people work. It might break your heart to refuse the attention he craves, but it's for his own good!
The South American Sea Lion (Otaria byronia, but also known as Otaria flavescens) belongs to the suborder Pinnipedia, a group of marine mammals in the order Carnivora that have front and rear flippers. Pinnipeds are split into three families: Phocidae, the earless seals (true seals and elephant seals); Otariidae, the eared seals (sea lions and fur seals); and Odobenidae (walrus).
Sea lions not only have external ears, but have the ability to walk on all fours, due to their long front flippers. South American Sea Lions are heavy-bodied and stocky, and have a strong sexual dimorphism, with males reaching up to 350 Kg and 2.6 m in length, and females being no longer than 2 m and weighing 170 Kg.
It is a widespread species around the South American continent, being found in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil, and it has even been observed in Ecuador and Colombia. Adult males have been recorded at over 300 Km from the coast, but juveniles won't venture beyond 80 Km. Dives are usually between 100 and 120 m, although the maximum depth recorded was of 320 m, and lasted five minutes.