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Touching his flippers allows you to check for any cuts or injuries, while rubbing his belly prepares him for future ultrasounds - something that would be particularly important in the case of a breeding female.Finally, getting Emmett used to having his face touched, particularly around the eyes, can help to prepare him for receiving eyedrops.I don't usually get so touchy-feely with a gentleman I've just met, but Emmett is so charming it's difficult to resist.Within moments of meeting, we've looked into eachother's eyes, held hands (flippers) and I've even given him a well-deserved belly rub.It is hoped that by allowing members of the public the chance to see these beautiful creatures up close, it will encourage us to adopt a more sustainable approach.
Although Californian sea lions are not classed as endangered, they are vulnerable to conflicts with fishermen, entanglement in marine apparatus and - a problem we can all do something about - pollutant plastics.
Once again, one-on-one feeding is a good way to check for signs of illness or infection.
"They tend to get into scraps like all brothers do," says Netanya, "so doing this means that we can check their hands for any cuts or injuries." We do, in fact, spot one - a small graze on the fleshy bit of one of their palms, which will get checked out by another keeper later.
After a fond farewell to Emmett, I head over to Casa Do Howler for the second of Banham Zoo's newest animal experiences, the black howler monkeys.
On arrival, this seems something of a misnomer, as only one of the primates - the sexually mature alpha male, Oruro - is black.
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The experiences also offer a chance to see, up close, the bond between animal and zookeeper, and to help carry out vital health checks."Everything we do is part of animal husbandry," says Netanya, as she leads me into the enclosure alongside three other keepers.