Actually, sea lions use their flippers for many reasons, likely not to express joy at being held in a tank. As important body temperature regulators, flippers, when waved, can help sea lions' bodies absorb heat from the sun and lose heat to the water. Flippers also help them maneuver quickly on land, and propel them through the water at speeds of up to 13 mph. By spending the entire video anthropomorphizing Leon, SeaWorld forgot to include any of this information about California sea lions - or any information about the problems that are facing the species, like climate change, disease and entanglement in fishing nets.
3. In the wild, California sea lions have room to breathe.
Sea lions' range extends over 4,000 miles of coastline from the Pacific coast of Central Mexico north to British Columbia, Canada. Some male sea lions migrate once a year to the the northern ends of their range to feed. At SeaWorld, sea lions live in small, chlorinated tanks. One park visitor spotted a sea lion chewing an iPhone that a visitor had dropped.