Coastal waters within 60 km of shore in summer and 200 km in winter/North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea
Size: 9.5 to 11 ft. • Weight: Up to 2500 lbs.
The legendary Steller Sea Lion is named after the naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, who first described the species during an expedition in the 18th century. These sea lions can be found along the coasts of the northern Pacific Ocean, ranging from Japan and Russia to Alaska and British Columbia.
Steller Sea Lions command attention wherever they go. Adult males, known as bulls, can grow up to a whopping 2,500 pounds and have a boisterous roar that echoes across the coastline. Their luxurious fur, helpful for insulation in cold waters, shimmers in shades of chocolate brown and blends perfectly with the coastal cliffs they call home. Unlike their close relatives, such as California Sea Lions, Steller Sea Lions have a blunt and square-shaped head.
Social creatures by nature, Steller Sea Lions thrive in bustling colonies. These colonies can range from hundreds to even thousands, forming vibrant communities filled with playful interactions and… we’d be lion if we didn’t mention the occasional pungent aroma. Beyond their playful nature, Steller Sea Lions are also renown for being highly intelligent creatures. Researchers have discovered that these remarkable animals boast the ability to recognize themselves in mirrors, a sign of self-awareness shared by a few select species.
Sadly, Steller Sea Lions face some challenges in the wild, such as habitat degradation, pollution, and competition for food. However, conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve these magnificent creatures for generations to come. Whether you encounter a Steller Sea Lion in its natural habitat or observe the rescued mammals in the Vancouver Aquarium’s Steller’s Bay gallery, you're in for an unforgettable experience. The Steller Sea Lion is a reminder of the incredible diversity and intelligence that exists beneath the waves.