You’ve heard of window shopping, but what about window kisses? You can get your own window kiss at the zoo this year and it won’t cost a thing! The zoo’s sea lions – Legend, Cassandra, Fishbone, and Grits – give guests window kisses at the end of each Sea Lion Show. Sea Lion Shows happen twice daily and are free with zoo admission.
Why are the animals so apt to show “affection” to zoo guests?
“It’s a trained behavior.” explains sea lion trainer Britni Plummer. Plummer says, “The girls are trained on a variety of behaviors and all four will swim around the glass for window kisses at the end of the show.”
Training is a form of enrichment for the sea lions. Zoo keepers use positive reinforcement to train the sea lions, which gives the animals choice and control. When an animal chooses a behavior, like swimming up to the window for a “kiss,” they receive a tasty treat in return. The 11AM and 3PM Sea Lion Shows are dynamic and enriching training sessions for the animals. The sea lions get mental and physical stimulation, lots of fish to eat, and they develop a trusting relationship with their zoo keepers.
And guests get a kiss. It’s a winning situation no matter which side of the glass you’re on!
Click on the photos to enlarge: