Meet Gouda, a Harbor seal pup only 4 days old! She was first observed in Seward Harbor on Saturday night and was brought into the Alaska SeaLife Center on Sunday with part of her umbilical cord still attached. She has already started gaining weight and is now able to splash around in a tote filled with some warm salt water.
On April 13, eight-year old Harbor Seal Gracie, gave birth to a bouncing baby pup in a special birthing pool. Gracie arrived at the Albuquerque BioPark in 2004 after sustaining a gunshot wound which caused significant eyesight loss. BioPark staff were concerned that her impaired eyesight might be a problem in motherhood, but Gracie relies on her other senses to communicate. “Seals use scent and vocalization, so we’re finding that her eyesight is not an issue at all,” said Lynn Tupa, Zoo Manager. “The pup is so cute. She nurses often and communicates with mom constantly, so there is a lot of vocalization. Usually after nursing, they play in the pool together.”
Photo credits: Katie Mast, courtesy of ABQ BioPark
The pup will remain off exhibit with her mother in the birthing pool until able to eat solid food. See more below the fold...
In the United States we are familiar with the California Sea Lion, but Australia has its own species, the aptly named Australian Sea Lion. Unlike its North American cousin, this species is endangered so Australian zoos are doing their part to bring awareness to conservation efforts and help rebuild the population. The Adelaide Zoo welcomed a new Australian Sea Lion pup over Halloween.
The yet to be named female pup was born to first time Mum, Ady. Both are doing very well but unfortunately Ady did not accept her baby, which was a possibility known to her keepers. Carnivore keeper, Arliah Hayward said, “This is not an uncommon occurrence for first time mothers who have been hand-raised, meaning the mother does not have the maternal instincts to raise a pup on her own. “It is always our goal to have mother and baby together, however in this circumstance it was best for the survival of the pup that keepers intervened,” said Ms. Hayward. The pup is now in the care of Adelaide Zoo’s Animal Health Clinic and keepers.
As we have pointed out in the past, Sea Lion pups do not know how to swim at birth and must be taught by mom. Oftentimes the pups are cautious about approaching the water but not this little guy. Not even two weeks old, the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium's newest baby Sea Lion dives right in and bops around, albeit a bit awkwardly. This is the first pup for mother Maggie and only the second at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, so staff are keeping a watchful eye on the talkative and active pup.
The two unnamed female pups, born on June 7 and June 10, were abandoned by their moms at a popular tourist attraction—Pier 39 in San Francisco—which is a highly unusual place for a California sea lion to give birth. Lucky for them, they were rescued by staff from The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, eventually making their way to the Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo. The pups are off exhibit for the moment while they get used to their new home but are doing great so far!
Read the whole story and see more pictures below the fold
Last month, a male Harbor Seal was born at the Los Angeles Zoo; this marks the Zoo’s first success at breeding Harbor Seals. The baby will remain off exhibit with his mother, Asia, until he is old enough to be introduced to the other adult seals. The pup’s father, Alfred, is a blind harbor seal that was discovered in 2007 on the shores of Cape May Point, N.J.
On Sunday June 13th, Denver Zoo welcomed a vocal little sea lion pup, their first in 17 years! Denver Zoo visitors now can see the female pup as she explores the seal pool in the zoo’s Northern Shores area with her mother. Weighing just 15 pounds now, she will eventually tip the scales at a burly 195 to 230 pounds.
On April 8th, Oceans of Fun based out of the Milwaukee County Zoo, welcomed a happy and healthy California sea lion pup. Named Sequoia, the pup weighed just 13lbs at birth. Oceans of Fun is dedicated to ocean conservation and serves as one of a handful of sea lion breeding centers in North America.
Below: Sequoia plays with her chew toy and proves my theory that sea lions are basically Labrador retrievers with flippers.
Since 1976 the Mystic Aquarium's Seal Rescue Clinic has treated over 300 marine mammals from tiny seal pups to stranded whales and released over 160 back into the ocean. Here is the tale of one recent rescue.
On January 25th, the International Fund for Animal Welfare located a lethargic baby gray seal on the beach in Sandwich, Massachusetts and transferred him to the Mystic Rescue Clinic in Connecticut later that day. The pup was only 7 to 10 days old and thought to have been abandoned by his mother.
While in the Seal Rescue Clinic, the pup was bottlefed and treated with antibiotics due to an elevated white blood cell count. Eventually the pup recovered, reaching a healthy 50 pounds and learning to catch fish on his own.
On March 25th the pup was released at Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown, R.I., joyfully returning to the sea.
Three playful sea lion pups, all rescued separately from harbors in Southern
California, have found their way to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. The only male pup was originally found malnourished and suffering from pneumonia and was treated and released by the Marine Mammal Center. Unfortunately the little California Sea Lion kept returning to the beach and finding his way to crowds of beach-goers (or them to him). Either way, after three restrandings, it was determined that life at Mystic would be a good fit for the little guy.
Check out the pups in high spirits in their new home.
Got a suggestion for a name for the boy or two girls? Submit your suggestions here (and let ZooBorns know if you win!)