POSTED: Monday, May 18, 2009 - 7:45am
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:32am
For two years there's been one animal missing from the Gladys Porter Zoo. Turbo, the zoo's sea lion, died two years ago and in an attempt to pick up wild sea lions turned tragic when they died inside a trap set by the federal government last year.
Now, two new sea lions are spending their second night inside the exhibit at Gladys Porter Zoo. Meet Kruger and Junior, who are the new sea lion additions to the zoo. Junior has a number visible on his back that is used to track his movement of pesky sea lions and it cannot be removed. The tracking is used to identify the ones that are feasting on the depleting Chinook salmon. It's a controversy the Gladys Porter Zoo happily agreed to help with the situation.
The sea lion exhibit had been sitting empty for two year when Turbo died because somebody dropped rocks into his exhibit. Facilities Director, Jerry Stones says that's why this time around it's important visitors do their best to keep these guys safe.
Last year Stones went to Washington working with the same program that got the zoo these two sea lions. After driving back all day the zoo learned the animals in the traps had died and because the federal government thought they'd been shot to death at the time and the trapping had to stop.
Stones says, the trip to Washington were long and expensive, but in the end, he's happy Kruger and Junior are alive and well and adjusting to their new home at the zoo. Since the sea lions came from the wild, zookeepers don't know their ages, but they're adapting well and they hope to have them at the zoo for a long time.