10/31/14

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:

10/22/14

Frisbee Fun

You may not know that Leu the Northern fur seal LOVES to play catch (just like our sea lion ladies). It's a game he's been playing since he arrived 2012. I thought it would be fun to see if he could hone those tossing skills and play a friendly game of Frisbee with me.



In no time, he had a signature throw down! Even if it happens to fall, Leu will pick it up quickly and send it back to me. This has been in the works for just a few days —see how good he already is! He'll be ready for ultimate in no time...

Maybe Leu is dreaming of Frisbees

-Lindsay

9/15/14

Let's go for a spin!

Earlier this year, we followed Chacoda into the water, thanks to his special ability to wear a GoPro harness. The harness fits around his front flippers and a critter cam sits snug on his back. Chuck (as he's affectionately known in these parts) and Paul worked together for some time so this handsome harbor seal could learn to wear the harness while swimming and diving around the exhibit.

Adjusting the camera: Above the water

This skill gives us a special opportunity to see what it's like to effortlessly navigate the habitat in this Front Plaza exhibit and even spring out of the water during a training session! Today's cool video shows us both sides of that story: the traditional above-water perspective of trainers in the exhibit and below the water from Chucky's point of view! Take a look.



Not only does this skill of Chacoda's provide a fun way to explore the exhibit underwater, learning new skills such as wearing a harness is a good way to keep this harbor seal active both mentally and physically. Trainers also teach seals behaviors that can help with their medical care, such as opening their mouths for tooth brushing or presenting a flipper so a vet can examine it or draw blood.

Adjusting the camera: Chacoda's perspective

The harbor seals cruising among the toys in their exhibit

Come by to see the harbor seals in their Front Plaza exhibit. You'll have new appreciation for the agility and abilities of these athletic harbor seals!

Check out these links to learn more about the harbors seals:

7/10/14

Look who's 2!

Just days after his dad had a birthday, little Flaherty is celebrating his second birthday at the Aquarium today! He'll enjoy some extra helpings of fish in honor of the occasion, while we all ooh and ahh over how much he's grown.

The birthday boy now...

...around one years old in his, erm, pudgy stage...

...and as a newborn pup, beside his mum, Ursula.

On Monday, Flaherty's dad enjoyed a birthday feast of whole herring and squid for his special day. Isaac was born at the Seattle aquarium 14 years ago! It's hard to imagine that little Flaherty could one day grow to be as big as Isaac. That'll take a couple more years. (Here's how Isaac celebrated last year.)

Check out that hair and those whiskers! 

Of course, to Isaac and Flaherty and Ursula, birthdays feel just like every other day, filled with interaction with their trainers, plenty of time to swim and groom, rough house and, of course, snooze.

With all those youngsters splashing around all day,
it's no wonder that Isaac and Ursula need a nap now and then. 

Come check out the action in the marine mammal center! Buy your tickets online and print them at home, that's the fastest way to get in the door to see the fur seals and sea lions.

7/7/14

Here's how Leu celebrated July 4

We hope everyone enjoyed a fabulous July 4th holiday—no matter what day you celebrated this weekend. Here at the marine mammal center (where a roof protects the open-air exhibit from the full brunt of the elements, thank you very much, Arthur), the seals got festive with some enriching toys during their training session. Here's Leu demonstrating his flag waving skills.

You're a grand ol' seal!
Photo: Lindsay Jones

Now that you're here, come stay a while and get to know Leu!