Welcome The Chaffee Zoo’s Newest Residents

FRESNO, CA (September 14 , 2004) One of the most popular exhibits at the Chaffee Zoological Gardens, the sea lion exhibit, has received some major renovations over the past few months, in addition to some lovable new residents.

On February 20, 2004, the Chaffee Zoo acquired a young female sea lion pup, named Pismo, from the Fort MacArthur Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, California. At five-months-old, Pismo was found stranded in Oxnard, California with trauma of unknown origin to her eyes. Following five weeks of treatment, Pismo was diagnosed as being permanently blind in both eyes.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) recommended that Pismo be placed in a permanent facility, rather than be released back into her natural habitat. The Chaffee Zoo, having met the requirements set forth by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to hold captive marine mammals, was authorized to retain Pismo for the purpose of public display.

Not long after Pismo took up residency at the Chaffee Zoo, the Zoo acquired an eighteen-year-old male harbor seal, named Buck, from the Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Park in Aurora, Ohio. Buck is chocolate brown in color; his coat patterned by white spots and has a distinctive marking on his forehead in the shape of a butterfly.

Physical renovations for the trio’s exhibit include a new filtering system for the pool along with many other improvements. Two separate sand filters and corresponding pumps, along with an ozone filtration system, have been added to sanitize the 30,000 gallon pool. A non-skid coating was added to the surface of the decking which surrounds the pool, which was also re-plastered. In addition to these improvements, the viewing windows and its frames were completely replaced.

Zoo Contact: Shelley Morrison 621-5716.

Daniel G. Hobbs, City Manager
Contact: Ken Shockley, Public Affairs Officer: 621-7777