ST. LOUIS — The newest member of the Judy and Jerry Kent Family Sea Lion Sound family has a unique journey to the Saint Louis Zoo.
Ella, a 14-year-old California sea lion, was found in June 2008 on a California beach without her mom and her umbilical cord still attached. After three attempts to rehabilitate and re-release her, she was deemed non-releasable, according to the Zoo.
She was nursed back to health and lived at the Odysea Aquarium in Arizona before coming to the Zoo in November 2022.
According to the Zoo, Ella has met every sea lion and harbor seal and has formed relationships with all of her trainers. She has found her place in the social group and is eager to greet others.
The 14-year-old California sea lion learned over 120 behaviors before moving to St. Louis. She continues to learn and adjust her behaviors with the trainers at the Zoo.
Ella previously learned how to paint with a brush that was attached to a Frisbee. She adjusted to the Zoo and is working with a brush attached to a PVC pipe to create artwork. Her artwork is available for purchase through the Saint Louis Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers here.
On your next trip to the Zoo, look out for a sea lion laying out on the rocks with extra long whiskers. That's Ella, the Zoo said.
Read the full story on Ella's journey to the Zoo here.
Celebrate World Oceans Day at the Zoo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 9. Family-friendly activities will be available involving ocean and marine life.