The Maritime Aquarium is celebrating the New Year with some new faces. This week, adult harbor seals Feisty and Gracie were introduced to the aquarium’s largest exhibit, Pinniped Cove.
Both seals came to The Maritime Aquarium from ABQ BioPark in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Feisty is a gentle 33-year-old male. He is the second male to call The Maritime Aquarium home in its 35 year history, and is currently the only male in Pinniped Cove. Gracie is a curious 20-year-old female. She was rescued off the coast of Maine after suffering an injury to her optic nerve that left her unable to survive in the wild.
“This is an extremely exciting moment for The Maritime Aquarium,” said Senior Trainer Dylan Salamone. “Gracie and Feisty are the first new seals to be introduced to the group since 2005, and they have acclimated to their new home quicker than we expected. We hope you’ll visit them as they continue to explore Pinniped Cove.”
Prior to being introduced to their new habitat, they underwent a 30 day quarantine to protect the health of the harbor seals already living there. Once the quarantine was complete, Feisty and Gracie were slowly introduced to the other seals through a safety gate that connects the holding pools behind the exhibit.
Since Feisty and Gracie are both blind, they were given ample time to explore their new home and map their surroundings without the other seals. This process went exceptionally well with Feisty and Gracie displaying signs of comfort within minutes of entering Pinniped Cove. After they acclimated to their new surroundings, they were joined by the aquarium’s other seals – Rasal, Ariel, Polly, Tillie, and Leila.
Pinniped Cove opened in June of 2021. It is eight times larger than the aquarium’s previous exhibit and allows guests to view the seals from three sides and two levels. Visitors can watch Seal Training Demonstrations at the exhibit daily at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. For more info, visit www.maritimeaquarium.org.