- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Zookeepers in Oklahoma City are waiting for Pearl the sea lion to give birth to her second pup.

Pearl delivered her last pup, Murphy, in 2008. But Murphy lived only a year after dying of liver failure in 2009, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1dI8UNq ) reported.

Oklahoma City Zoo employees are closely monitoring the latest pregnancy of Pearl, and she’s expected to give birth any day now. Zoo veterinarian Gretchen Cole said an ultrasound was performed Friday on Pearl and that the results were positive.

“We do the ultrasounds to make sure the fetus is growing normally,” Cole said. “We’re looking at her heart rate and size. She’s doing very well. She’s close.”

The father of both pups is Xander. He and Pearl were pups when they were found stranded in California. The decision to breed them came at the suggestion of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“There is an effort to maintain the sea lion population in zoos and aquariums,” Oklahoma City Zoo marine mammal supervisor Heather Down said. “Because Xander and Pearl have wild genetics, they were strong candidates for breeding.”

The zoo also has two orphaned young sea lions currently in quarantine that came from California through a rescue organization. They will participate in the zoo’s sea lion program after they’re removed from quarantine.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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