Ask The Aquarists
Ask the Aquarists will be a regular feature in our newsletters. If you have a question about how things work
People always wonder about the workings behind the glass - how the aquarium actually runs. We
asked Jason, one of our aquarists, to answer a few questions:
How does the Aquarium get its seals?
All of the seals that we presently have were born at the Seaside Aquarium.
Do you have babies every year?
No. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, who oversees our care of the seals, says
that we have enough room in our facility to house fourteen seals. We make sure
never to exceed that number. We practice responsible parent planning in the
sense that when the summer months come around, which is when the seals traditionally
molt, give birth to baby seals, and breed, we isolate the males so that we wonít
have babies the following year.
Do the seals have more space?
They do. Thereís another tank and a lot of dry space in the back. Itís not open to the public and itís always open
to the seals, so thereís always an option for them to not be in the public eye if they donít want to. In general,
theyíre a very public animal. They are very social, they live in herds, and they like the interaction with the people.
How do you care for the seals?
The seals usually spend their nights in the area in back. At the beginning of the day we just check on the seals and
change the water in their tank. Then we feed the pups extra because sometimes during the day the competition for
pieces of fish is so fierce that the pups donít get enough. We give everybody vitamins and feed the rest of the seals
extra through the day if they are not being fed much by the public. After vitamins, the seals usually spend the day
swimming or with the public and we check up on them regularly. At night they all go into the back tank and then
spend the night there. If youíre wondering if we train the seals, we donít. They develop those tricks on their own.
How can you tell the seals apart when theyíre not performing?
You can tell them apart by size and shape. Most of the time itís by their faces, their eyes, and their spot patterns.
Each one has a very unique look.
Who is your favorite seal?
Right now? Clark. Heís just such an oddball. When I go into the back, he nips my boots and follows me around a
little bit. We have had a lot of great seals over the years.
in back, submit it to
and we might publish your question (and your name) in our next newsletter.
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