There was a family reunion today at the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center when two new northern fur seals joined our exhibit. The two new females, Taz and Roxie, are both related to Ursula, one of the three females already in the exhibit. Roxie is Ursula’s mom and Taz is an aunt. Taz and Roxie came up from the New York Aquarium last month, but they had to be in quarantine for 30 days before they could join the rest of the fur seals. Today was the big day when the doors to the quarantine area were opened. Ursula seemed to know something was up because she jumped up on the deck and headed to the quarantine area as the doors were opened.
Taz and Roxie both have cataracts and don’t see that well, so they made their way tentatively up the ramp, while Ursula waited impatiently on the deck. The minute the two new girls came on deck Ursula was at Roxie’s side, making “pup calls," the vocalizations that a young seal makes so its mother can identify it. Then Ursula and Roxie went nose to nose.
Ursula continued to follow Roxie around, even after both seals got in the water. In fact, there was a lot of sniffing and touching as all the seals checked out the newcomers.
Taz and Roxie’s introduction went really smoothly, and after about 20 minutes, everyone was ready to eat breakfast.
Marine Mammal Trainers
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We train the Aquarium's Atlantic harbor seals and Northern fur seals for enrichment and to build a trusting relationship that allows for regular medical checkups. Read our posts to learn about what's new with the animals and how we train behaviors.
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