Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In for the season

The seals and sea lion that reside on Pinniped Island for the summer have returned to their winter home.

After a summer spent basking in the sun, California Sea Lion "Subee" and her pool mates, Harbor Seals "Ginger" and "Fletcher" all went voluntarily into their crates to be hoisted off the island by the City of Saint Paul's Forestry department. From there, it's just a short ride into the Aquatic Animal Building to their indoor exhibit area. All three did great with the move and are swimming and eating as if nothing ever happened.

This will be the first winter for Fletcher, an eight month old Harbor Seal that was found washed ashore and abandoned only a few days old in Santa Barbara, CA. Due to permanent damage in his right eye, Fletcher was deemed non-releasable and placed at Como Zoo in late April. He has been incorporated into the operant conditioning training program and is learning new behaviors quickly.

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