Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kona the Sea Lion Pup Learns to Swim at 6 Flags

June 25, 2014 marked the birthday of Kona, the first sea lion pup born at Six Flags Great Adventure theme park, the largest of the family-friendly Six Flags amusement parks

New parents will appreciate how critical it was for Kona's mother, Anoki, to teach him how to swim.  This charming video from Six Flags PR department gives us a glimpse of the trainer-assisted process.

Sea lion mothers instinctively pass on survival skills at a very early age.  

At four days old, Kona began learning how to use his flippers and developed a signature call with his mother.  Anoki continues to nurse her pup, who weighed approximately 18 pounds at birth and within four weeks had grown to 33 pounds.

“Kona is becoming more proficient at swimming and has begun teething. Similar to human babies, Kona puts anything in his mouth, most often his flippers,” said Jessica Peranteau, senior supervisor of animal training.

Six Flags notes that the name "Kona" means ‘world ruler’ in Gaelic. In contrast, the famous beach area known as Kona in Hawai'i is named for the Hawai'ian word meaning "lady."

If the video has piqued your interest in meeting Kona, he and his mother Anoki will be visible through viewing windows in the Seafari Theater.  The park's vet team plans to bring them out each day to make an appearance in the underwater viewing pool during the Asian small-clawed otter presentations, “You Otter Know.” 

Kona’s father, Kenobi, along with female sea lions Dichali and Ella, can be found at the park’s Fort Independence Theater in an educational presentation called “Fish Factor.”

For additional information on the park’s animal collection, schedule of shows and rates, visit

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