Work starts on enclosure at Banham Zoo which will house California sea lions
- Credit: Archant
After several years of planning work has begun on a long-awaited enclosure to house sea lions at Banham Zoo.
Diggers have moved into the zoo to work on the £450,000 project to create an aquatic habitat for the California sea lions.
When finished the project will also help the Zoological Society of East Anglia to raise awareness about the plight of the world's seas and oceans - covering issues including overfishing and plastic in the seas.
Martin Goymour, CEO, said: 'Banham Zoo has a long history of working with sea lions to raise awareness of critical conservation and environmental issues facing our planet.
'This new enclosure will create a salt-water habitat for California sea lions, opening in summer 2017.
'I certainly hope that this project will help inspire the next generation of animals lovers to do all that they can to protect our world's wildlife.'
The California sea lion can reach top speeds of 25 miles an hour and they live along the rocky Pacific Ocean coastlines of western North America and also near Ecuador's Galápagos Islands.
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Their average life span in the wild is less than 30 years and they can grow to between 5.5ft and 7.25ft.
They can hunt continuously for up to 30 hours, with each dive lasting three to five minutes.