May Pups on Display for Summer Visitors
The Seaside Aquarium has a long-standing history
of breeding harbor seals. Since 1952, harbor seal
pups have been born in the Aquarium from
captive-bred parents. This spring the Aquarium
welcomed a boy and a girl to the resident herd
and summer visitors were able to watch the
growing pair adapt to their home.
Greta gave birth to a male on May 23 who was
promptly named 'Damian' after the Portland
Trailblazersí Damian Lillard. Scullyís pup came a
week later on May 31st. Her name, 'Pinni', is a
shortened version of 'Pinniped', the suborder
that seals and sea lions belong to.
Both pups are incredibly bright and have started
developing their own repertoire to attract visitor
attention (and fish!). Aquarium staff say that Pinni
started performing earlier than any other seal they have seen. She is working on her side slap, but has not perfected
the maneuver. Currently, her side flippers are a little short, so her 'slapping' looks a lot more like flailing. She has,
however, become adept at catching any fish that comes her way. Damian makes small splashes in the water and
grunts, and is working on perfecting his catching skills. He prefers to allow fish pieces to fall near him or even bounce
off his face before picking them up and gobbling them down. The pups are described as 'bright, charming, hams.'
Pinni and Damianís mothers Scully and Greta have different parenting styles. Greta is a 'hands on' mom who stays
near Damian as he navigates
the tank. Scully is no less
attentive, but she does it
from a distance. She is there
instantly if Pinni needs her,
but she also allows the pup
to explore on her own.
Scully spends much of her
time after-hours swimming
in the main tank, while
Pinni prefers to hang out in
the pup tank. Although
their styles differ, they are
both great mothers.
BBC takes interest in
Displays of Interest
Damian gives a good attempt at a splash.
He is still working on his catching skills.
Scully checks on her pup, Pinni. Touching noses is a
common form of imprinting for mothers and pups.