Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seal Island is Open!

As the neighbors have probably already heard, the seals and sea lions are out on the island! And this year we have a new addition to the island, Chino, who came to Como Zoo in April, 2007. Chino has been sharing a pool with Sparky VI, the star of the Sparky the Sea Lion Show, over the past year. We recently chose to temporarily separate the two so we can focus on one-on-one training with each animal while Chino is still young and learning so much. Sparky VI will remain in her exhibit so she can continue doing shows this summer, while Chino joins harbor seals Max and Ginger on the island.
To prepare for the move, Chino was trained to voluntarily enter a sea lion transfer crate and the move went quite smoothly! We were also interested to see how he would interact with Max and Ginger, since it would be his first time meeting a harbor seal at Como Zoo. While the introduction went very well and they seem to tolerate each other and eat calmly together, they are not pals and seem to mind their own pinniped business. Max and Ginger have lived with sea lions before and were similarly indifferent while living with California sea lions Sparky V and Mystic. However, Chino is much younger and more playful than Max and Ginger's previous roommates and we are all interested to see how their relationship will unfold over the summer.

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