If you live in Southern California and you love being out on the water, we're going to go out on a limb -- or, er, a boat's stern -- and say that the Harbor Seal holds a warm place in your heart. (A heart that is under several layers of clothing we hope, since you're out on the ocean.)
The damp mammals are plentiful enough, and can be barky, and they're often what cheers a group of whale watchers who haven't seen any whales. (There's no relieved voice like a whale-watching guide's voice when he spies a clutch of Harbor Seals nearby: "Hey, everyone, seals!")
A few California Harbor Seals have an address though: The Aquarium of the Pacific. Shelby and Troy, two of the resident harbor seals, just welcomed a 30-pound son on May 1.
What's notable about this? The Aquarium has seen Harbor Seal births in the past, but this pup is the first boy to have been born at the Long Beach institution.
The public will be able to get an eyeful of his whiskery, fin-floppy cuteness starting in mid- to late-summer, but there's a way to welcome him now: adoption. Donate twenty-five bucks or more through this adoption program by June 30 and try your hand at naming the pup.
Fin? Shiny Nose? Harbie? His parents are Shelby and Troy, remember, which are probably two of the best aquatic mammalian names ever in the history of aquatic mammals. Shelby and Troy. Why do we picture those Harbor Seals wearing matching cardigans and sharing common hobbies? We really do.
For all the haps at the aquarium, including their extended evening hours come summertime, read on.