Photographers angled for a shot of baby Volker splashing for the first time with his six-year-old mother, Lucy, in the zoo's outdoor pool.
“He didn't need to learn how to swim. All seals can do that from birth,” zoo curator Heiner Klös told the Bild newspaper.
The newspaper called him “Knut with flippers,” referring to the Berlin Zoo's orphan polar bear cub that charmed Germany and the world last year.
Volker's mother has nursed him on land since his birth on June 7. The sea lion cub weighed eight kilograms and was 50 centimetres long at birth.
Little Volker has a lot of growing to do – male California sea lions can weigh up to 300 kilograms and reach 2.4 metres in length.