Fitness Friday — Fur Seal Scooch

From their daily training and exercise sessions, the Northern fur seals at the Aquarium have picked up some unusual skills. Take scooching, for example. Ursula is getting pretty good at this skill. She keeps her face and shoulders close to the ground while her hind flippers and hips are high in the air, pushing her right along. It's pretty funny to watch as Belinda walks her through the exercise!

With the New Year quickly approaching, many folks add exercise among their resolutions. Let the fur seals be your inspiration! What are some creative ways that people can zip about to stay active? Have you ever tried to crab walk? What about skipping? Let us know!


Vote for your favorite holiday card!

Everyone in the Marine Mammal Department is excited about the holiday season, and as tradition goes, we put together a holiday card (here's one from 2008) to send out to all of our friends and colleagues.

All of the animals in the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center were involved, but as you can imagine, with so many photogenic animals, it can be hard to decide which picture to choose. This year we ended up with two possible candidates and since the staff were torn, we're turning to you for help. Which card do you like best?

One card features our two newest additions, Zoe and Sierra, with their favorite holiday toys

The other card highlights our three female Northern fur seals, Roxie, Ursula, and Cordova, enjoying some exhibit decorations.

So ... which card is your favorite? Vote now!

You can vote as often as you like, and the polls are open until Midnight on the December 25. Happy Holidays!

- Erin

Fitness Friday – Exercise is fun!

Wheeeee! The sea lions have found a great way to get moving. Take a look!

Zoe and Sierra race up the ramp and then use it as a water slide on the way back down. You can call it play or you can call it exercise. Whatever you call it, the sea lions and trainers are having a blast!

These young sea lions aren't the only ones who like sliding down the ramp. Check out this video of Ursula the Northern fur seal having a go.


Fitness Friday – Stretching with friends

The Northern fur seals are quite limber. We've seen Baranov do a great big head roll with Lindsay, and Isaac do a couple toe taps with Paul. Now Ursula is branching out and stretching with some members of the audience! You see, visitors to the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center often help out during training sessions.

In this Fitness Friday post, watch how audience members walk Ursula through some calf stretches, ankle rolls and neck stretches.

Come on down to the Marine Mammal Center and you, too, could be out there stretching with the seals! Better yet, sign up for a seal Meet and Greet program for some guaranteed face time.

A very flexible Ursula

Check out our other New Balance Foundation Fitness Friday posts! Watch how Isaac managed to learn an impressive flipper stand, and see the sea lions romping with a hose for a bit of exercise.


Fitness Friday – Sierra's new dance moves

It's been well established that our California sea lion pups are an energetic pair. Zoe and Sierra love romping with toys like a running hose, splashing around in the deep end and zipping through the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center side by side.

In today's Fitness Friday post, you can see that Sierra has been learning some new dance moves to stay active. Here she is dancing with Justin.

So now you know. There are plenty of ways to stay active, whether you're a sea lion or a human! Do you take the stairs, dance, swim, play outside with friends or hit the gym? Let us know some of the ways you stay active.


Fitness Friday - Isaac stretches with Paul

Many folks work with physical trainers to help them reach their fitness goals. Well, Isaac has a trainer and a partner in fitness in Paul, one of our marine mammal trainers.
 Paul working with the fur seals


In this week's Fitness Friday post, Paul walks the hulking Northern fur seal through a couple toe taps to stretch out.

Check out our other New Balance Foundation Fitness Friday posts! Watch how Isaac managed to learn an impressive flipper stand, and see the sea lions romping with a hose for a bit of exercise.