Self Reflection Time

A big part of any trainers' day is making sure that we enrich the lives of all the animals in our care. For those of you who follow our blog often, or have seen our animals playing on exhibit, you know that enrichment can take many forms. Whether it's ice cubes, toys, or simply playing in hose spray, the possibilities are endless. 

Recently, we added an acrylic mirror to this list. It's fun to see how different animals react to their own reflections. Watch as Northern fur seals Leu, Cordova and even Flaherty take a peek in the mirror!

Do they know they are looking at themselves? Do they think it's another animal? You decide.


A restful sound for Mother's Day

Ursula makes this soothing sound when feeling zen and calm.  She has been heard "clicking" when resting on land and when nursing her pup, Flaherty.  Listen carefully...



Fitness Friday Goes Mental

Usually when you hear the word "fitness," being physically fit is what comes to mind. Not only is it important for our marine mammals to stay in shape physically, but here at New England Aquarium, it's our job to make sure our furry friends stay in shape mentally as well. How do we do that? One way is through training new behaviors. Our training sessions often give our animals a mental workout by providing them with puzzles to solve.

A great example of a behavior that does this is something we call "innovative" training. Here's how it works. The trainer gives the animal a hand signal that basically means: do whatever you want to do this time. There's only one rule to this fun exercise. In order to get a reward, the animal needs to think of something different to do each time. This is one of my favorite types of training sessions because it shows just how creative these marine mammals can be!

Don't miss this video of Amelia, an Atlantic harbor seal, getting a mental workout!

Our harbor seals aren't the only ones that can be creative. Click the video below to see Isaac, a Northern Fur Seal, stretch his imagination!