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West Valley zoo welcomes Makara, its first female sea lion pup

(World Wildlife Zoo Photo)

PHOENIX — A West Valley zoo welcomed the birth of its first female sea lion pup Thursday.

Makara, which means “little sea creature” in Hindi, is the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park’s third pup born through its sea lion breeding program, according to a press release.

The Litchfield Park zoo said Makara, called “Little Mak” by her trainers, is getting acclimated to the water and preparing to start swim lessons.

Makara will start her lessons in a kiddie pool before moving to the large public viewing pools and learning how to enter and exit them safely.

Once she is comfortable swimming, Makara will be introduced to the rest of her family, including her brother, Sunny, who was the first marine mammal born in Arizona.

“She has already earned a special place in all of our hearts and we are beyond thrilled for the public to get to know this amazing pup,” Kate Conely, sea lion manager, said in the release.

Sea lions are protected under both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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