Seal & Sea Lion

Another Stellar Sea Lion Pup For Parents Woody and Eden

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It's a boy!! The Alaska SeaLife Center is pleased to announce the birth of a male Steller Sea Lion pup at 12:14 pm on July 20, 2014. Parents are 14-year-old mother, Eden, and 21-year-old father, Woody. Eden and pup are healthy and doing well. The pup is not expected to be available for public viewing for a few months.
 
Eden and Woody became parents last summer with the birth of Ellie on June 20, 2013. Ellie marked the first Steller Sea Lion pup born in North American collections since the mid 1980s. 
 
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10572058_10152212168046471_3278751748280155667_oPhoto credits: Alaska SeaLife Center
 
For almost 10 years, Steller Sea Lion research has continued to be one of the largest research focuses at the Alaska SeaLife Center. It is no wonder either—Steller Sea Lion populations in western and south-central Alaska are still below historic numbers, have not fully recovered from significant population declines, and remain listed as endangered on the Federal Endangered Species List. It is not only important to study this species to ensure their survival, but to also learn more about the marine ecosystems in which they inhabit, and how they adapt to environmental change.
 

Continue reading "Another Stellar Sea Lion Pup For Parents Woody and Eden" »


Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre Helps Harbor Seal Pups Get a Flipper Up

The Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre assists ill, injured, or abandoned marine mammals with the goal of rehabilitating them for release back into their natural habitat. If you believe a marine mammal is in distress, contact the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604-258-SEAL (7325). To learn more about their important rescue and rehab work visit: http://www.vanaqua.org/act/direct-action/marine-mammal-rescue. ZooBorns is proud to share some of the recently rescued pups along with their stories according to the centre's Facebook page.

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"PV1417 "Argon" was admitted this morning from Goose Spit in Comox. This adorable, slightly cross-eyed little pup is only the 2nd female pup admitted so far this season! She was also a transfer from Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, who were kind enough to house her overnight, and administer some much needed fluids and glucose. Again a huge thanks to Harbour Air Seaplanes for donating the cargo space to fly her over to us!"

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"PV1412 "Radium" was admitted June 26 from busy Iona beach. He was found under a jetty, trying to avoid the circling eagles in the area. Thanks Matt and Melanie, and to GVRD for assistance!"

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"PV1414 "Radon" was admitted June 28 from Vancouver Island. Thank you to Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society for housing and organizing transport for this little guy, and to helicopter pilot Norm for flying him all the way to us!"

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"Curious PV1432 "Abba" is settling in well after her transfer from the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre to our facility. The IWNCC helps to stabilize seal pups that are found farther away from our centre, playing an important part in rehabilitating these animals in their younger, more vulnerable stages. Many thanks to Marielle and the team for helping rehabilitate this pup!"


Precocious Seal Pup Mugs For Cameras at Wroclaw Zoo

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On June 10, Wroclaw Zoo welcomed a female South African Fur Seal. This is the first offspring for the zoo's Seal group and keepers are pleased to report that the pups mother is taking great care of her newborn. Mother and child have been behind the scenes to allow the pair space and time to bond. After two weeks, keepers checked the sex of the pup and administered a medical examination. The female pup is healthy and curious about her surroundings, including her keepers.

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New Year Brings a Grey Seal Pup to Brookfield Zoo

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The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, has announced its first birth of 2014: a Grey Seal pup that also happens to be the first of its species ever born at the zoo. The male pup was born on New Year’s Day around 7:00 a.m. He and his mother, ten-year-old Lily, will remain off exhibit for several weeks to allow them time to bond with one another. 

At birth, the pup weighed just over 25 pounds (11.3 kg), and staff estimate that he will triple or quadruple his weight in the next month. Because the mom’s milk is extremely rich, the pup will gain several pounds a day. He will nurse from Lily for about two to three weeks and then will be introduced to a fish diet.

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5 sealPhoto credit: Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society

Grey Seal pups are born with long white fur called lanugo (pronounced la-noo-go), which is molted in two to four weeks and replaced with shorter, stiffer hair similar to that of adults. Although guests will most likely not be able to see the pup on exhibit before he molts, video of the pup can be seen on the monitor located in the Seven Seas Underwater Viewing gallery.

Brookfield Zoo is now home to six Grey Seals, the most in any North American institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This birth, as well as the pup’s gender, is significant to the overall North American population, which consists of only five males and 17 females. Rita Stacey, curator of marine mammals for the Society, is the Association of Zoos and Aquariums studbook keeper for Grey Seals. In this role, Stacey documents the pedigree and entire demographic history of each individual in the Grey Seal population. These collective histories are known as the population's genetic and demographic identity and are invaluable tools that track and manage each individual cared for in North American institutions.

Grey Seals can be found abundantly in coastal waters and are divided into three separate populations: the Western North Atlantic, the Eastern North Atlantic, and the Baltic Sea.


Rescued Fur Seal Pup Finds a Home at New England Aquarium

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The staff at the New England Aquarium got a real-life gift from the "North Pole" this month - a rescued Northern Fur Seal pup arrived from the Alaska SeaLife Center. (The pup traveled by FedEx cargo plane, not Santa's sleigh!)

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Photo Credit:  New England Aquarium

ZooBorns first reported on the pup's rescue
 here.  The pup, named Chiidax, was left in a box at the Alaska Fish & Game office on the remote Aleutian Island of Sand Point with a note attached stating that its mother died while giving birth.  

Officials whisked the underwight, dehydrated pup to the Alaska SeaLife Center 500 miles away, where he quickly doubled his weight under their expert care.  Because he was hand-raised and his exact birth area was unknown, the staff determined that Chiidax could not be released back into the wild.  Luckily, the New England Aquarium has a successful breeding program for Northern Fur Seals and was eager to bring Chiidax to its Fur Seal exhibit.

Chiidax has a playmate ready to meet him at the aquarium - Kit, a female Fur Seal born in August. Aquarium officials expect Chiidax to move into their harborside Seal exhibit sometime in January.

Northern Fur Seal populations have declined over the past decades.  They are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

 


Vancouver Aquarium Releases Rehabilitated Harbor Seals

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After receiving months of care at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, seven rehabilitated Harbor Seal pups poked their noses out of their transport kennels and wiggled down to the waters of Howe Sound on the morning of November 20. Five of the rescued seal pups were outfitted with satellite-linked transmitters, which will provide valuable data to the aquarium’s veterinary team regarding the seal pups’ travel patterns and progress following their release. 

In the water, the transmitters don't weigh anything, and the seals don't seem to be bothered by them at all! They aren't invasive; no part of the animal has been punctured or any pain caused. They will fall off by the time the animals molt next spring, if not before. When the animals move, the antennas point backwards, and so they don't affect the seals' ability to swim.The transmitters are the result of decades of collaboration between veterinarians, biologists, engineers, and programmers.  

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See photos of the release after the fold!

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Orphaned Fur Seal on Track at Alaska SeaLife Center

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An orphaned Northern Fur Seal left in a box outside the Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices is on track despite a rough start in life.

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Photo Credit:  Alaska SeaLife Center

The Stranding Team at Alaska SeaLife Center took in the newborn Seal, who weighed only 9.5 pounds, on July 24.  A note on the box said that the pup’s mother had died giving birth.  The pup, named Chiidax by the staff, was underweight and dehydrated.

Today, Chiidax weighs 18 pounds and weaned at four months old, which is right on target for a wild Fur Seal.  Chiidax now enjoys whole fish rather than formula.

Now that Chiidax is weaned, he’s also molted his dark pup coat and sports the cream and brown coat of a young juvenile.

Northern Fur Seals inhabit the Pacific Coast of the United States, the Bering Sea, and the coast of the Russian Far East.  As a male Fur Seal, Chiidax is destined to weigh about 590 pounds (270 kg) when full grown.  Male Fur Seals weigh four to five times as much as females.  Northern Fur Seals are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos of Chiidax below the fold.

Continue reading "Orphaned Fur Seal on Track at Alaska SeaLife Center" »


UPDATE: Good News from the New England Aquarium!

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Just last week we shared the happy news about New England Aquarium's Northern Fur Seal pup (see our first story here), and already there is more good news to share: it's a girl! All the marine mammal trainers wanted to give mom and baby some space after the birth so the pair could bond and rest. After a couple days, the trainers did a closer examination on the pup and determined her sex. She's also tipping the scales at 11 pounds now! The pup continues to nurse, call and grow stronger every day in her cozy behind-the-scenes space she shares with mom, Ursula. The pup will remain behind the scenes until this fall, but visitors can still see dad Isaac and big brother Flaherty on exhibit.

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Northern Fur Seal Pup Bonds with Mom at New England Aquarium

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The New England Aquarium certainly has something to cheer about. A Northern Fur Seal pup was born late on Tuesday, August 6. The pup's mom, Ursula, was observed going into labor by an engineer. When trainers arrived, Ursula had given birth to the pup. By the morning, the two were observed calling back and forth to each other, a sign that they had bonded well overnight.

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The pup is Ursula's second. Ursula demonstrated great maternal instinct with her first pup, born in July of 2012. Ursula has been tolerant of trainers being near her pup, but they don't want to break that trust by handling the pup too early. Subsequently, the sex and weight of the pup has not been determined.

New England Aquarium is home to the largest collection of the the rare Northern Fur Seals in North America. These animals are characterized by a thick coat of fur that help to keep them warm in the cold waters of their native habitat, the Northern Pacific. Despite being protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the world population has continued to decline. They are currently listed as Vulnerable.


Seal Pup Birth Long Awaited at Zoo Osnabrück

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In the early morning hours of July 4, Germany's Zoo Osnabrück welcomed the first Seal pup to be born there in five years. The little one with the coal- black eyes is already swimming with the others, but still likes to cuddle extensively with its mom, Bee. The sex has not yet been determined, so the baby has no name yet. 

"We are very pleased that the birth went so well. The baby is very attentive and swims very well," said head staff member Kirsten Bischoff. The 14-year-old mother has gotten through her third birth well. This was the first baby for six-year-old father Max, but Bee has not let him get close to the new baby. As soon as Bee sees Max, she protectively nudges the baby away.

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Photo Credit: Photo 1,3: Zoo Osnabrück, Photos 2, 4: Cindy Schrooten 

Keepers have left the two in peace thus far to bond so they don't have a weight yet, but they estimate the pup is between 22-26 pounds (10-12 kg), about one tenth of Mom's body weight. Seals nurse their young mostly on land, so Bee brings her baby on shore to feed. The pup will suckle for the first month or so before the mother's milk is supplemented with fish.