Seals of the New England Aquarium

Perhaps one of the most talked-about things from our trip to Boston is the antics of the seals from the New England Aquarium. Stories from our experiences with the seals were both memorial and entertaining.

The California Sea Lions

The California Sea Lion has a range that runs from Alaska to Mexico; they are an eared seal and are distinct from other species with their large front flippers. The aquarium has two California Sea Lions: Zoe and Sierra (2000) were both rescued as a pup in Southern California. This species is listed as “Least Concern” because their population numbers continue to increase.

Northern Fur Seals

The Northern Fur Seal, on the other hand, is listed as “Vulnerable” because their numbers are in rapid decline. These animals come from the Northern Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, and the Sea of Okhotsk and are the ones embroiled in disputes about the seal fur and meat trade. Honestly, I can’t believe the sale of fur still exists; modern engineered technical clothing is so much more practical for cold weather.

Most of the seals in the aquarium are Northern Fur Seals.

First there’s Isaac (2000). He’s a massively huge and territorial male that liked to chase the other seals away from his sunning space. Rarely seen in the water, for our visit he camped out in one spot until it was dinner time… during which he moved to a strategic position by the staff entrance.

Ursula (1998) is the second oldest seal in the aquarium and mother to Flaherty and Kitovi. She was the most mellow of all the seals and camped out at her sleeping spot early in the evening.

Flaherty (born 2012), the first Northern fur seal to be born in the aquarium. His mother is Ursula and his father Isaac. He’s a 3rd generation family member and has developed a mischievous and energetic streak that he uses to test territorial boundaries. His sister Kitovi was born in 2013.

Roxie (1990) is the oldest seal in the aquarium; at 24, this is an exceptionally old age for a seal. She is Ursula’s mother and Flaherty’s grandmother. It was funny to watch Flaherty continually attempt to steal Roxie’s sleeping spot — only the be thwarted and chastised for his attempt. She also LOVED to pose for the cameras.

Chiidax (2013) was rescued as an underweight and dehydrated pup in Alaska. After recovery at Alaska’s SeaLife Centre, he was moved to the New England Aquarium. Leu (2012) is another pup rescue. He was found on a beach in California.

For a long time, we watched the seals chase and throw toys, eat fish, blow kisses at visitors, play with each other, and display their social dynamics. After we discovered that you can follow them online at the Aquarium’s trainer blog and on YouTube.

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