NewsOmaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium


Omaha Zoo previews new sea lion exhibit

Posted at 11:10 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 18:51:00-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Officials at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium previewed the zoo's new state of the art sea lion exhibit on Thursday.

Watch a preview below or on our Facebook page.

The exhibit opens Friday morning.

Owen Sea Lion Shores features a 275,000 gallon pool, a 40-foot-long underwater viewing window, underwater forest and sandy beach areas. There's also a wave machine.

Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium President & CEO Dennis Pate said it’s a one of a kind exhibit in the country and completely immerses visitors into the Pacific Northwest. He adds the 44 foot underwater glass viewing window lets people experience Sea Lions like never before.

“They are able to because of the closeness through a glass barrier or an underwater barrier to interact with you all and they’re interested in people and what they’re doing underwater. So that’s a whole other level for them and guests that walk through,” Pate explained.

The previous Sea Lion enclosure was a smaller circular pool previously used for people.

"They’ve definitely shown us they love interacting with children so I really think it’s going to be fun for people to see their personalities come out and then besides that just learning about their natural history, how they thermal regulate and just then in general their nature I think it’s really fun," said Erica Bernhardt, Sea Lion Supervisor for the Henry Doorly Zoo.

Construction on the exhibit began in 2018.