The new Dublin Zoo sea lion pups have different moms, but share the same father

By Matt McNulty
June 20, 2019 02:04 PM

Three adorable baby sea lion pups were born at the Dublin Zoo this week, all within days of each other, the zoo announced on Thursday.

Cassie, the first sea lion to give birth, welcomed a female pup on June 7, with Sienna giving birth to her own female pup three days later on June 10. Florence was the last to give birth, delivering a healthy male pup on June 13.

“All three sea lion pups and their mothers are doing extremely well and settling into Sea Lion Cove, watched over by proud father Niko,” Team Leader Ciaran McMahon said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “Cassie’s pup is already swimming, and the two other pups are expected to start swimming within the next few days. The three new additions bring the sea lion colony up to nine.”

Sea Lion and pup

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Cassie and Sienna’s female pups weighed in at just under 14 pounds, while Florence’s male pup was born weighing nearly 17 pounds. All three pups have the same father, a virile male sea lion named Niko.

The three recent births are hardly a coincidence, as sea lions annually give birth to their pups during the month of June, according to the Dublin Zoo.

The zoo is a part of the European Breeding Programme, which was created back in 1985 to protect endangered animal species throughout the European continent, including Siberian tigers, African elephants, brown bears, and California sea lions — among many other species.

Sea lion pup

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The zoo’s recent sea lion births occurred in time for this week’s episode of RTE’s The Zoo television series, which airs Sunday on the Irish TV network. The series will show several of the sea lion colony’s females preparing to give birth.