Pup and Mother Thriving In Special Birthing Pool Behind-the-Scenes
ALBUQUERQUE, NM— On April 13, eight-year old Gracie, a harbor seal, delivered the first seal pup to be born at the BioPark. Keepers arrived in the morning to find the 20 lb newborn and her mother bonding well in the birthing pool.
The pup will remain off exhibit with her mother in the birthing pool until able to eat solid food. Visitors can see the baby on a looping video display at the exhibit. The video will be updated weekly.
BioPark staff observed no mating between Gracie and the father, Oakley, a 21 year-old harbor seal donated to the BioPark in 1992. They were delighted when an ultrasound revealed Gracie’s weight-gain was due to pregnancy.
Gracie, a wild-caught rescue seal, arrived at the BioPark in 2004 after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head which caused significant eyesight loss. BioPark staff were concerned that her impaired eyesight might be a problem in motherhood, but Gracie relies on her other senses to communicate.
The Zoo will hold a naming competition on Mother’s Day, May 8. Zoo visitors will be able to vote on their favorite name from options selected by keepers. Fans of the BioPark’s Facebook page will also be able to vote on the name.
The BioPark is an accessible facility and a division of the City of Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Department. For more information, visit http://www.cabq.gov/biopark or call 311 locally or (505) 768-2000 (Relay NM or 711).