Sea Lions get a new home

The Henry Doorly Zoo is adding a $22.5 million dollar shiny new exhibit


Photo Curtsey of The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium welcomes the six sea lions to their new home.

Brooke Sliva, Staff Reporter

As many around the world find new and exciting things to do over the summer as our world is getting closer and closer to going back to normal. A great spot to check out this summer that is staying extra safe is the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. As many make their way around the zoo they might find themselves at the new sea lion exhibit. 

Many guests did not know about this new feature the Henry Doorly Zoo added, because the Omaha zoo has shut down quite a few exhibits due to COVID restrictions, but the zoo is ready this summer for their visitors to come back and hope they are ready to check out the new exhibit and activities they have been working on during the fall. 

Last year in 2020 if you walked around the zoo you would have seen the polar bear exhibit where they once swam is now turned into a new $22.5 million exhibit that includes a 275,000 gallon saltwater pool with a 40-foot-long underwater viewing window and wave chambers to create natural waves throughout the pool for the Sea Lions. The zoo is adding on every day to make your trip the trip of a lifetime. The Henry Doorly Zoo is always thinking of new ways to improve their land for the animals and for the kids and adults to come to check out the amazing animals they have. The zoo is adding to the one-acre exhibit a pupping beach for females to raise their young. This is just one of many features they have added to the new exhibit for the animals to really get the real wildlife feel all in the comfort of the new exhibit. 

The new exhibit has added many new and exciting features for the animals and the humans. The Zoo keeps thinking of new ways to get the kids of all ages that come to check out the animals and be more involved with the variety of animals. They have added an outside exhibit for kids of all ages to play in the sandy beach area just like they see their favorite animals doing in their exhibits. They also added a  waterfall for kids to play around in and embrace their inner sea lion, and a flooded cavern with a special area to view sea lions swimming underwater. They also have a nose-to-nose observation deck above ground to watch the zookeepers take care of their best animals and do their best to keep them healthy all while putting on a show for the guests. This was a huge step up for the sea lion exhibit. It makes the guests get up and personal with the sea lions, and makes the trip even more memorable for all.

Construction started late in fall of 2020, The sea lions remained in their current home during the construction of their new home. When spring of 2021 came around the six sea lions were ready to be moved to their new and improved home. The sea lions have adapted better than expected to their new exhibit and kids and adults are already on their way to go see their favorite animal in their new home. A senior zookeeper at the Henry Doorly Zoo told the Omaha World Herald that the setup of the new exhibit offers the sea lions a much better experience, with more mental and physical stimulation.  

As the zoo is still following COVID guidelines and will do so throughout the summer. All visitors will be required to make an online reservation to visit the zoo and visit their favorite animals. The zoo follows great socially distanced guidelines and still makes guests have a great experience with every new animal they meet. Nothing is stopping anxious guests to make their way down to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to see their favorite sea lions living their best life in their new exhibit.