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The Fussy Pregnant Lady

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 3:52pm
ady sealion 01.JPG egret 01.JPG

Yes, we are still waiting for our Australian Sea Lion, Ady, to give birth (hopefully sometime in the next two months).

I don’t think a day goes by where someone doesn’t ask me if Ady has given birth - even my Mum calls me weekly for an update and I give the same response to everyone... “nope, still very pregnant and fussy.”

This is my first time working with Sea Lions so I am learning lots, including how everyday is different with Ady - especially with eating.

Up until a couple of months ago, Ady's favourite fish was yellowtail mackerel, she couldn’t get enough of them. Then all of a sudden she wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole... then just in the last week she is eating them again.

She has also started filleting most of the bigger fish we give her. This is quite a talent; she uses her front flipper to hold the head of the fish and with her teeth she fillets each side of the fish. It is funny to watch but annoying for us because it blocks the pool drains when we change the water. However the bird life are loving picking up the leftovers! There is a beautiful white Egret that is a regular around the exhibit waiting for the opportunity to grab a fish.

Through all the feeding changes one food type has remained a hands down winner..squid. One of our fantastic volunteers donates fresh caught squid but when their supply runs out we import very large squid from Southern California - which Ady likes to swallow whole in one go (not a very lady like eating style!).

We are keeping a close eye on Ady's feeding behaviour as it will be one of the tell tale signs of an upcoming birth. Female Australian Sea Lions are known to substantially decrease their food intake just before giving birth.

For now Ady is eating about 6 kilos of food a day and still training very well. We have recently trained Ady to lie down on an x-ray plate and be x-rayed by our vets, all without leaving the exhibit and no general anaesthetic needed.

If you are visiting Adelaide Zoo soon come down and see Ady, she is usually out everyday in the maternity pool right of the main exhibit. If not she is having a snooze out the back... ahhh, the life of a pregnant lady.


Carnivore Keeper, Adelaide Zoo


A typical pregnant female with food fancies, but so glad to hear she is doing well and is healthy
Posted By: Liz Williams on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 4:25pm
I have been watching Ady for what seems like forever. I am sure she feels that way too. Everytime i see her, that is once a fortnight, she looks even more over it. My heart goes out to her, pregnancy must be rough as a sealion. More pampering for Ady, she deserves it :)
Posted By: smr on Sunday, October 17, 2010 6:07pm
She must have been snoozing out the back the day I was there, but her mate looked keen to know what was going on! He kept nosing up to the gate between the main exhibit and the maternity ward! :-) I'll be back to see the bub when he or she arrives!
Posted By: Jacquie on Sunday, October 17, 2010 8:48pm
would that be Salt & Pepper Squid!!!!
Posted By: margot mccudden on Sunday, October 31, 2010 10:16am

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