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OCT 14- OCT 21, 2014

Aquarium of Niagara Introduces Rescued Blind Pacific Harbor Seal Pup

October 14, 2014

Will he be named Bart, Jax, Cruz or Moe?

Niagara Falls– The Aquarium of Niagara has introduced ‘Pup 2014,’ a harbor seal rescued off the coast of northern California when he was days old, abandoned by his mother and unable to remain alone in the wild, possibly because he was born blind.

Harbor seal ‘Pup 2014’ is joining the Aquarium’s five other seals and sea lions, and will make his home in the Aquarium’s outdoor pool with Sandy, another harbor seal.

The staff trainers have been working to transition the blind pup into his new pool and routine and visitors will most certainly enjoy this new arrival in his new digs.

The Aquarium’s deputy director, Gary Siddall was part of the team that transported ‘Pup 2014’ from Oakland, Calif., to Niagara Falls.

“He is adjusting nicely to his new home and new family,” said Siddall.

The pup was rescued by The Marine Mammal Center of Sausalito, Calif. Without their intervention, ‘Pup 2014’ may have sustained injury from other wildlife, fallen ill, or become malnourished. When found, the pup still had his umbilical cord, and was struggling to find food. At five months old, harbor seal ‘Pup 2014’ is healthy and learning how to receive daily meals from his trainers.

‘Pup 2014’ recently finished a period of quarantine required by New York State. Under 24-hour watch, the pup began training in order to learn how to eat fish supplied by trainers, take verbal cues, and play with toys - a soft piece of neoprene, water “noodles,” and a giant foam fish. Currently just over 50 pounds, harbor seal ‘Pup 2014’ is expected to grow swiftly to about 200 pounds in adulthood.

The Aquarium is hosting a naming contest for ‘Pup 2014’ that will take place at the Aquarium, and via social media. After “liking” the Aquarium on Facebook or following on Twitter, participants may vote on one of four potential names for the pup - Bart, Jax, Cruz, or Moe.

Other names suggested on the Aquarium's Facebook page, but not under consideration, were Salty, Keller (after Helen Keller) Danny, Lou-Seal and Vision.

The most popular name will be announced the week of Oct. 27th.

 

 

 

 

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