Buy Online Freecall 1300-547-737
Shopping cart is empty.
It's a boy

It's a boy

Posted: 16-Dec-2019

After much anticipation, (18 months to be exact)proud parents ‘Adelaide’ and ‘Ozzie’ are delighted to announce the safe arrival of ‘Hugo’. Hugo was born at 11.30 pm on Saturday 28th September, (AFL Grand Final Day) weighing in at 5 kgs and 30 cm long. While it has been 11 weeks since his birth, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park are also now ready to announce his arrival to the public.


It should be noted that Hugo is not your average bouncing baby boy. Nicknamed ‘Huggie’ by his doting carers, Hugo is an endangered Australian Sea-lion. He was born at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park (DMCP) in Coffs Harbour as part of the Australasian Species Management Program (ASMP). The ASMP is collaborative program conducted by zoos in Australia to maintain viable populations of endangered species.


Now almost three months old, Hugo is the first baby for mother ‘Adelaide’ an Australian sea-lion who was rescued and raised at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park. Despite being orphaned 12 years ago, Adelaide’s maternal instinct kicked in immediately, and Hugo is thriving. Today he weighs a healthy 17kgs and Hugo drinks from Adelaide every day. While Adelaide’s milk is Hugo’s meal of first choice, he is now experimenting with the odd fish. Milk is still his favourite though!!


Hugo’s father is ‘Ozzie’, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park’s largest sea-lion weighing in at a massive 150kgs. Ozzie was also born at the park as part of the ASMP for this species.


The team at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park have commented on the remarkable likeness between Hugo and his dad Ozzie.


“Hugo looks like his father with his tongue always sticking out!”, laughed carer Antigone “Tig” McElroy. “He is the loudest sea-lion at the park too! We can hear his unique call everywhere. He sounds much like a goat!”


“Hugo loves exploring and is always watching seagulls fly past. He certainly isn’t shy and is very curious and adventurous, always keen to play with something new. Nothing startles him”, she said.


Park Vet, Dr Duan March supervised the birth with the help of the entire marine mammal team from Dolphin Marine Conservation Park who worked around the clock to ensure the safe arrival of Hugo.


Dr March explained the importance of the breeding program. “Historically, the Australian Sea Lion was heavily hunted, and whilst this doesn’t happen today, a lot of the research indicates that population numbers are still declining. These animals face a range of threats in the wild, including mortalities due to entanglement in fishing gear and disease and a lot of their natural habitat is degraded or over fished. These captive breeding programs are an important insurance policy in case numbers continue to decline in the wild, and they are also great ambassadors for their wild counterparts, as the seals are used to educate visitors to the park on the threats facing this species and what they can do to help.”


There will be private sessions available where limited numbers of visitors to DMCP can see Hugo interacting with his carers. These sessions will be after hours and carefully supervised so that Hugo can become slowly accustomed to the attention he is no doubt going to receive on a daily basis once he is old enough. Keep an eye on DMCP’s Facebook page and Website so you don’t miss out on your chance to meet this cute little Australian Sea Lion.

Go back to read more news or you can go to our home page

Share your experience & win

Write a short story, upload a photo and you could WIN free entry to the park for you and your family.


I seen Bucky on sash on TV just now. What an amazing spirit. I feel blessed to be kissed by a trooper. Xoxo thank you Greg for sharing an amazing dolphin. I work with Fuji and I am glad we have a photo booth for people to keep the memories. Sometimes it is all you have. I love my kiss picture with Bucky. Thank you for your photo. Paige Sinclair CEO..

Katherine Thompson

This was my last visit to The pet Porpoise pool 35 years ago I was 7. we used to go every year when I was little and my grandmother getting kissed by a seal was the highlight of the day. I loved feeding the fairy penguins and my dream is to one day swim with the dolphins. I would love to win passes to marine magic to experience it again with my family. What great memories Katherine, we hope to w..


My mum and I just spend the whole weekend at Pet Porpoise Pool, we travel from Tweed to Coffs just to see Buck and Zip, we love them and can't get enough. Already driven down 3 times this year, and every time it's amazing. And we loved seeing all 5 dolphins in the pool, Bella's a sneaky little thing! We got drenched by her plenty of times hahaha. Great to hear you enjoyed yourselves - Paige S..


Every time I come to Coffs Harbour I visit marine magic! My family and I can’t get enough of these beautiful animals. Can’t wait to bring my partner this year so he can experience why I love it so much. Thank you Georgia, we look forward to welcoming you back to the park!..

Karen Purchase

I went up there nearly 2 yrs now after I turned 50. I had received money for my birthday and decided I wanted to do the “trainer for the day” experience. Was the best thing I have ever done in my life, seeing the behind the scene as well getting up and close to all the animals, my favourite parts were taking Elle for her walk around park twice, involved in show, and of course my experiences wi..

Bianca W

Thank you for our tour of your park. We have attended 3 times within the last 11years and have found this way was an amazing way to get up close with the animals and learn more about them. Our guide had lots of information to share and was very good at engaging with the children in the group. Highly recommend. We attended on the 14/7/20 Thank you for taking the time to share your lat..


My son had a brilliant dolphin swim with Trainer Stacey yesterday morning. Stacey was fun, informative and professional and zippy the dolphin was the perfect student loved loved our morning with these beautiful animals Thank you for your lovely feedback Jo, we will let Stacy & Zippy know!..

Diane Binks

Had a great visit to DMCP on Tuesday 30/6/2020, we had an escorted tour of the park with a very informative guide showing us around the park. This visit was very different to our normal visits but my granddaughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit! Thank you to all the wonderful people at the DMCP, you are all amazing! Hi Diane, Thank you for your lovely feedback, this is new to all..

Sharon Page

I took my two youngest grandchildren there in July 2018, they both loved it and still talk about it to this day, so we are planning to return with my oldest grandchild as well. They don't like the drive from Sydney, but they do love it there so it makes it worth the trip. Great place, educational and fun. Thank you Sharon, we look forward to seeing you again..

Sharon Fisher

My husband, daughter and my two grandchildren are driving up from Forster on the 26/06/20 to spend the weekend in Coffs Harbour for a getaway weekend.. My daughter , a single mum has just passed her paramedic course and is now in placement in Tea-gardens. She has been so flat out working 12hr shifts. So the reason to get them away for some quality time . I would love to surprise my grandbabies..

Stay Updated

Receive the latest news, promotions and events