July 28, 2014
Pup Grows Up
- as seen by -Nicole Pisciotta
Harbor seal pups are very slippery and squirmy. Ask any keeper that has tried to weigh one.
Currently, I work with walrus, sea otters, sea lions and harbor seals at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium. In the past two years, we have had two harbor seal pups born to Coral, our 7-year-old adult female, our newest addition on May 27, 2014.
As part of caring for a harbor seal pup, it is important that we weigh it on a daily basis. A weight gain will ensure us that the pup is getting enough nourishment from its mom to thrive, and that keeper assistance to care for the pup is not necessary. At a few days old, the pup is small enough to place in a bin that sits on top of a small scale to get its weight, (no small feat.) However, due to the high calorie milk the pup gets from its mom, it gets really big really fast! After about a week and a half, we realized that a pup will no longer fit in a bin. We had to switch to our big scale that we use for our adult animals to get the pup’s weight.