In April of 2018, Oceans of Fun welcomed their fourth rescued California sea lion: a juvenile male named Ripley! Ripley was one of 4,000 California sea lions that stranded in 2015 in what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) deemed an Unusual Mortality Event or mass stranding of any marine mammal. After being found stranded, several attempts were made to re-release Ripley into the ocean but were unsuccessful. This is due in part to fish populations moving farther offshore making feeding exceedingly difficult. He was then deemed non-releasable and was transported from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut.
He spent three years at the Mystic Aquarium learning, growing, and playing with the rest of their population before being transported to Oceans of Fun to continue being an ambassador for his species. Ripley is playful, energetic, and gentle, but above all else he loves showing off his great big sea lion roar!