News Column

Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium Debuts Harbor Seal Pup

June 30, 2014



BRONX, N.Y., June 30 -- The Wildlife Conservation Society issued the following news release:

A harbor seal pup (Phoca vitulina) was born at the Wildlife Conservation Society'sNew York Aquarium - only the second harbor seal born at the aquarium in the past 15 years.

The male pup was born on May 27 and weighed 22 pounds at birth.

"He has already made an impression on visitors and staff," said Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium. "He is a delightful addition to the aquarium and a treat to everyone who comes through the facility while we work to recover from Hurricane Sandy and toward the opening of Ocean Wonders: Sharks!."

The young seal is gaining weight at a rate of a half-pound to one pound a day. As an adult, he could weigh up to 250 pounds.

A harbor seal's gestation period is nine to 10 months. Pups have rounded bodies with spotted coats which range in color from silver to dark brown or black.

Harbor seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They are abundant off the coast of New York City and Long Island. The New York Aquarium works to protect harbor seals through the New York Seascape, a conservation program designed to restore healthy populations of local marine species in New York City waters.

The New York Aquarium has three harbor seals which live in Sea Cliffs, alongside penguins, sea otters, sea lions and walruses.

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