California sea lions are typically the sea lions you would see at a sea lion show at your local aquarium. They are a very social animal, so they must be kept with multiple sea lions rather than one or two.

As well as zoos and aquariums, sea lions are found in circuses as well. Though this is not as common as it was in the past, it is still seen in parts of the world. This has become less popular because caring for the sea lion while traveling is both expensive and difficult.

Some people are opposed to the idea of sea lions performing tricks and shows because it does not show how the sea lion would behave in the wild. Also, it is widely believed that sea lions are mistreated while in captivity. They are seen as more of a show like a clown, and raises concern that people will not see the need to help save them in the wild.