For the first time in 30 years, a new harbor seal pup has been born at the Aquarium of Niagara.
After nearly 11 months of gestation, mother Zoey went into labor and delivered the pup just after midnight July 13. The pup was greeted by the Aquarium’s zoological team and veterinarians, closely monitoring the health of both mother and pup.
The Aquarium said delivery was seamless and both mother and pup are healthy.
“It is such an amazing experience to see mom and pup begin to bond immediately after birth,” explained Richelle Swem, Curator of Animal Care. “Gender will be determined during a veterinarian examination in the coming weeks.”
Zoey, 8, and has called the Aquarium home since 2012. She was rescued on Hummarock Beach, MA and deemed non-releasable. The new pup was sired by Pickles, 9. He joined the Aquarium in May 2016 from SeaWorld San Antonio and is the Aquarium's only male marine mammal.
Just like for any newborn, the Aquarium said it has "pup-proofed” its Rescue Harbor for the newest addition. Mother and newborn join another seal duo, Mia and Isabel.
Mia is a California seal lion born in the wild in 2010. She was rescued by the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, CA in 2014 when she was found malnourished and lethargic. A few days after her rescue, she gave birth to her pup, Isabel. Together they joined the Aquarium in May 2015.