SeaWorld Orlando welcomes Harbor Seals to Wild Arctic

Filed under: Florida News,SeaWorld |

SeaWorld Orlando - 11 April 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

SeaWorld Orlando is today making a few changes to its Wild Arctic exhibit. Following the death of the last remaining polar bear called Johnny, who died in July of apparent complications recovering from anaesthesia, SeaWorld has decided to move 11 harbor seals from Pacific Point Preserve to the Wild Arctic area.

Polar bears were part of SeaWorld’s Wild Arctic attraction since it opened in 1995 but SeaWorld says that it would have a more difficult time obtaining new polar bears now because they have been listed as a threatened species.

They are excited to use the area in a different way though and Mike Boos, the vice president of zoological operations commented:

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to share this amazing animal with our guests. Seeing them up close is a great way to learn about their species and how we need to protect all arctic animals.”

SeaWorld Orlando - 11 April 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

Harbor seal quick facts:

– On the average, harbor seals are about six feet long and weigh about 300 lbs.

– Harbor seals lack external ear flaps. Their ear openings close when they dive nearly 300 feet to feed on crustaceans. They may stay underwater feeding for nearly 30 minutes.

– Harbor seals belong to the scientific order Pinnipedia, which includes seals, sea lions, and walruses. Seals differ from sea lions in a number of ways, including having shorter, stouter flippers, and no visible ear flaps.

– Unlike most other pinnipeds, including sea lions, harbor seals are generally solitary and rarely interact with one another. An exception to this is the strong mother-pup bond maintained until the pup is weaned.

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