Snow Day with the Seals and Sea Lions

The Aquarium may have been closed to visitors during recent storms, but the marine mammal trainers still reported to work. There were hungry mouths to feed and fun to be had! Check out Chiidax's reaction to all the white stuff.

Patty and Kim stayed nearby so they could report for breakfast and, of course, a little fun with the seals and sea lions.

Patty and Kim 
Who needs to shovel when you can swim? As a local species, harbor seals know how to handle a blizzard.

And since there may be such a thing as too much fun in the snow, the seals and sea lions got to spend some time behind the scenes, too.

Zoe strikes a pose behind the scenes.
Leu flashes his good side for the camera.
And of course, there was shoveling to be done.

Hope everyone weathered the storms OK! 


Sea lions: Fun with peas

Enrichment comes in all shapes and sizes at the Aquarium. Recently we decided to see what the sea lions thought of peas. Yup, tiny, green, frozen, boring little peas. Here's how they reacted.

Not so boring after all! Zoe was really into this tasty activity. Sierra? Not so much. Every animal is different with their own unique personality.

These two.

See what kind of mischief these two have gotten into over the years:


Look at Leu!

Male Northern fur seals grow at an incredible rate, and our male Leu is no exception. He came to us in June of 2012 at approximately nine months of age and he weighed only 29 lbs. His tiny size was due to the fact that he was found stranded as a very young pup along the coast of California. If you have been following our Marine Mammal Trainers Blog, you may remember the videos we showed you of Leu as a baby. He was missing some patches of guard hair but even then he was such a good looking little guy. The video below shows his first introduction to our behind the scenes area. Look at how cute he is!

Video from June 2012

Since that video was taken, Leu has been growing in leaps and bounds. As a growing animal he takes lots of naps and his favorite places to sleep are in the turtle pool and on our tactile toy in our holding room. Here are some pictures taken over the past two years.

August 2013   
February 2014

Just last week at Leu weighed in at 106 lbs but, despite his growing body, he still loves to nap in his favorite toys. Check out the latest pictures we have taken, he barely fits!

November 2014

November 2014

For more updates on Leu and the rest of our marine mammals, keep checking in on our Marine Mammal Trainers Blog.


Learn more about Leu:


Pfflt! Silly sea lion

If you've ever wondered what a sea lion tongue looks like, Seirra here can show you! She often sticks her tongue out during quiet moments—and we happen to think it's just plain adorable.

Sierra the California sea lion, "Plllffffft!"

Quiet moments for this gal are few and far between, however. You'll usually find her romping with her fellow sea lion, Zoe, or carousing with the youngsters—Leu, Flaherty, Chiidax and Kit.

Zoe and Sierra are two peas in a pod. 

Sometimes the trainers engage the seals and sea lions with a little enrichment—something out of the ordinary that's fun to explore and play with. A plain old garden sprinkler works for this!

Sprinkler time

Sierra's athletic and acrobatic sides are often on full display during training sessions. Head out to the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center during your next visit to check on Sierra and the rest of the rambunctious crew of marine mammals. You never know what these fast and fascinating animals will be up to!

Learn more about the marine mammal training and play:


Halloween with Leu

On Thursday, the trainers provided pumpkins for the seals and sea lions to explore as a festive means of enrichment. Exploring new textures and shapes and smells is a fun activity that keeps these marine mammals healthy and happy. 

This is how the Leu the fur seal and Zoe the sea lion celebrated Halloween!

Leu, a rescued Northern fur seal

Leu dove right into the activity, snarfing small fish and squid from the jack-o-lantern

Leu even stuffed his whole head into the pumpkin,
and then tried to dribble the gourd into the water!

Zoe, California sea lion

Zoe did not enjoy playing with the pumpkins as much, until...

... the pumpkin splashed into the water. Then there were some curious pumpkin bobbers!

More fun with the marine mammals: