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October 29, 2010

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Sea lion pup bred at Shanghai park

SHANGHAI Wildlife Park has successfully bred a captive sea lion for the first time, officials said yesterday.

The cub, Xiao Bei, was born after his mother Elma had been pregnant for 11 months. Park officials said getting Xiao Bei's parents, Elma and?Bate, to mate was extremely difficult.

"We thought about breeding a sea lion three to four years ago," said Su Feilong, an official with the park. "The handlers matched Elma and Bate in 2008 and moved them in to the same enclosure."

The two, however, did not take to each other, leaving handlers confused as the pair were suited each other according to their characters and age, said the park.

The handlers decided to separate them for a period and then try again.

Soon after they were moved into the same pen for the second time, they "fell in love," and Elma became pregnant before too long.

Xiao Bei refused to eat on the first day after being born, but started to suckle from his mother the next day and the pup is now in good health.


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