A Big Welcome for an Aquarium First

The first-ever harbor seal pup to be born at the LBC aquarium makes her debut.

SealPupAquarium
Aquarium of the Pacific

When visitors to SoCal ask our recommendation on how to best maximize a whale watching trip, we always advise one thing: Give it up for the harbor seals.

We know, we know: They are not whales. (Spoiler alert.) You're on a boat to see some of the largest mammals on earth, not to admire the bewhiskered, wave-diving denizens that can crowd our harbors, hence their name.

But we're forever amazed by the harbor seal, because it is a seal, playing just offshore, and just because it isn't a whale shouldn't negate the fact that it is a wonderful sight.

An even more wonderful sight, if you're lucky enough to come across it, is a harbor seal pup. Pups grow up, so they're not as common near our shores as the big'ns, but the Aquarium of the Pacific has a baby, and that baby has a special designation: She's the first harbor seal pup born at the Long Beach institution.

The pup's name was announced on Tuesday, Aug. 21 -- it's Bixby -- which is the same day she joins the Seal & Sea Lion Habitat. Meaning if you want to see a pup up close, now is the time, before she grows.

Bixby, by the way, sprung from a "city-wise" Long Beach naming contest. Well done, Long Beach. She was born on April 26 and has been behind-the-scenes spending some bonding time with her mom, Shelby.

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