ATLANTA (December 11, 2015) –The official names for the two rescued sea lion  pups now residing at Georgia Aquarium have been announced. The names, Jupiter and Neptune, were chosen by participants in the Name Our Sea Lions Presented by SunTrust naming contest online throughout the month of November. Georgia Aquarium fans had the opportunity to vote on their favorite names from a selection of names chosen by Georgia Aquarium staff members for the chance to win a grand prize.

Jupiter and Neptune came to Georgia Aquarium earlier this year and are survivors of California’s Unusual Mortality Event (UME) involving young sea lions. Facilities like Georgia Aquarium that are able to house animals, such as these sea lions, provide them with a second chance at life and the opportunity for others to learn about the challenges they face in the wild.

Prior to their arrival at Georgia Aquarium, Jupiter and Neptune were rescued and rehabilitated at The Marine Mammal Center in California, where Georgia Aquarium staff members along with other zoos and aquariums, assisted with the rescue and rehabilitation efforts. These two sea lion pups, along with 3,000 others this year alone, were found alone, malnourished and stranded along California’s coast. Research suggests that the unprecedented number of strandings is due to a dramatic shift in the availability of food, such as sardines, forcing sea lion mothers to venture further out to sea to locate nourishment for their pups.

Despite efforts to rehabilitate and release sea lions back into the wild, some of these pups continue to become stranded and are deemed non-releasable by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). If they cannot return to the wild, NOAA works with the zoological community to help find homes for them. The pups are joining adult male and female sea lions at Georgia Aquarium, which will help them learn sea lion hierarchy as they continue to socialize with each other. The pups are thriving and learning training behaviors, as well as creating relationships with animal care staff. Georgia Aquarium is proud to care for and provide a home to Jupiter and Neptune. 

To learn more about Jupiter and Neptune, watch an update video here, visit Georgia Aquarium’s blog, or follow Georgia Aquarium on Facebook and Twitter.

Georgia Aquarium’s new sea lion gallery sponsored by SunTrust is set to open in the spring of 2016.

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ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that contains more than 10 million gallons of water and has the largest collection of aquatic animals. Georgia Aquarium’s mission is to be a scientific institution that entertains and educates, features exhibits and programs of the highest standards, and offers engaging and exciting guest experiences that promote the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org