Once the powers that be finally get around to creating the Cuteness Hall of Fame, Hudson the baby seal will certainly have a shot at induction.
Hudson, born June 12, is the Los Angeles Zoo's first success at breeding harbor seals.
The little guy is currently off display with his mother, Asia, until he is old enough to be introduced to other adult seals, according to the LA Zoo. He'll be available to the public once he's totally weaned (check the zoo's Facebook page for updates).
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Hudson may be an Angeleno, but his entire family has Jersey roots.
His father, Alfred, is an 8-year-old blind seal rescued in 2007 on the shores of Cape May Point, N.J. Alfred is currently on display at the LA Zoo's "Sea Life Cliffs" with four female harbor seals. The female seals, including his mother, are on loan from Adventure Aquarium in Camden, N.J.
Adult male seals can reach 370 pounds and can grow up to 6 feet long, according to the zoo:
Harbor seals are pinnipeds; a group of marine mammals that includes the seal, sea lion and walrus. A widespread species, they're found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They are often forced to sleep in the water during high tides. In the water, they assume a posture known as "bottling," where the seal's body remains submerged, but the face pokes above the surface like a snorkel allowing the animal to breathe regularly while sleeping or resting.
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the 134 and 5 freeways. Admission is $14 for adults and $9 for children (ages 2 to 12). The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call 323-644-4200 or visit www.lazoo.org.
And as for that Cuteness Hall of Fame, in addition to Hudson, here are our first-ballot locks: a male Masai giraffe, twin peninsular pronghorns, these antelope ground squirrels and our personal favorite, a pair of snow leopard cubs.