Asheboro, NC — A pair of California sea lions went on exhibit for the first time Thursday at the North Carolina Zoo.

The two young marine mammals, a male named “Dyson” and a female named “Storm,” are estimated to be 17 months old. Both were rescued by Sea World of San Diego (CA) in June 2012 after being abandoned or losing their mothers.

The sea lions arrived at the N.C. Zoo in early November and after completing a mandatory 30-day quarantine were placed on exhibit with two male Harbor seals in the zoo’s Rocky Coast exhibit complex.

Sea World of San Diego has rescued more than 400 marine mammals over the past year. Most of the animals are rehabilitated and returned to the wild. But a few, like Storm and Dyson, cannot be released for various reasons. These animals are owned by the National Marine Fisheries Service and, when possible, are placed on loan to accredited U.S. zoos and aquariums.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.