Finding yourself face to face with a sea-lion… it’s quite possible at Nausicaá. But rather unusual for a first contact, no? Fast and curious, sea-lions swim around before your eyes.
The sea-lion tunnel offers you an almost panoramic view of these marine mammals. On the right, on the left, under your feet, they seem to be everywhere at the same time, darting around the 1,000 cu.m tank.
Nausicaá welcomed its first sea-lions in 1998. Hunted for their fur and meat, this species was on the brink of extinction but was saved by the creation of reserves.
Nausicaá’s sea-lions come from European zoos (Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France), where they were born. You can see them in the “Mankind and Shores” exhibition.


Otaries dans le bassin californien de Nausicaa

The Californian reserve is home to five sea-lions, aged 6 to 25.

Speedy, Fridolin, Scooby, Moritz and Baloo share a space where they can swim, laze about on the rocks and do their daily physical training.
Seal or sea-lion?

That’s a question we’re often asked.

There’s an easy way to tell the difference: sea-lions have an outer ear, but seals don’t. If you aren’t close enough to inspect their ears, look at how they move about: sea-lions push with their flippers to move about, whereas seals slide along on their belly.

As you leave the Sea-Lion space, you’ll discover the great pinniped family, where you can see walruses, seals and sea-lions.


Don’t miss out on the sea-lion show when you visit Nausicaá!
You’ll be able to see the sea-lions working out. Every day the team of keepers puts the sea-lions through their exercises allowing them not only to exert themselves physically but also to have their teeth brushed, receive medical treatments or have check-ups, such as X-rays, ultrasound scans, and so on.


  • Sea-lions bark! Sea-lions are pretty talkative and voluble, and you can easily hear them outside when you stroll along the beach.
  • A flipper out of the water? The sea-lion is regulating its body temperature. You can often see them lazing about on the rocks, making the most of the summer warmth.
  • Under water sea-lions are fast and agile: they can reach speeds as high as 30 kph. Look carefully!

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