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Watch: Newborn Seal Makes Her First Swim

The 20-pound pup born Thursday at Aquarium of the Pacific is nudged into the water by mom.

Updated Tuesday. Learn more at the end.

The only thing better than a new seal born at the Aquarium of the Pacific? Watching the two-day-old pup make her maiden voyage -- with a little push, er, help, from Mom.

The newborn has not been named yet but Mama seal Shelby is a fixture of the Aquarium of the Pacific, arriving to the downtown Long Beach facility prior to its June 1998 opening.

Back then, Shelby was 2, still shy of typical reproductive age that begins from 4 or 5 years old, the Aquarium's mammal curator explained. But on Thursday, at age 16, Shelby birthed her first pup, a female of 20 pounds, the Aquarium tweeted at @AquariumPacific.

“Even though Shelby has given birth to her first pup at an older age and without prior experience raising young, she has been adjusting well to motherhood,” Dudley Wigdahl, Aquarium of the Pacific curator of marine mammals and birds, said Friday afternoon.

As excited as the public response has been about the newborn seal, the Aquarium stressed that she will not be in public view until the mother-daughter bonding has been fostered.

Shelby, one of the Aquarium’s female harbor seals, is 16 years old and birthed a healthy 20-pounder. Not bad for, as they say, an older mom.

Because Shelby is mature yet inexperienced at rearing a pup, "Aquarium experts will be closely watching her parenting skills to ensure the pup receives proper nutrition as the two have time to bond,"Wigdahl explained via Aquarium spokeswoman Marilyn Padilla.

The newborn's father, Troy, arrived at the Aquarium in 2007.

 May 1, 2012 updated story is here.

For more information call (562) 590-3109 or visit www.aquariumofpacific.org

 
Rex Pascual April 28, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Priceless!
brutusmojo April 28, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Puts a smile on me face.
Nancy Wride (Editor) April 28, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I also love that she became a first-time mom so late in seal-life. I think a seal-cam would be hilarious and we could stream it.
Kay Cofield April 28, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Idea for a name for the pup: esp. since mom is Shelby, how about Elbee (Long Beach initals spelled out).
Nancy Wride (Editor) April 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I like it. Of course, you know both seals are going to look every time those names are called....
Sonia Turcotte April 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Great news :)
Cynthia Curtis April 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM
how adorable. made my day.
marriea April 29, 2012 at 12:20 PM
It's interesting that most animals are more adapt at protecting and teaching their young than 'the more intellectual human'. Loved it. Put a big smile on my face.
Tony Gula April 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Might be spending Christmas holiday in your area, Could you please send me more information on your facility, My son spent some time at Dolphin Quest, in Key Largo, swimming with a Seallion, He has had an interest in marine life since he was 3, he is now 15, Thanks Tony Gula,, E.mail: Gulaaw1@aol.com
Brad Caylor April 29, 2012 at 04:22 PM
There is another exciting story of a young sea lion's survival. Educational story for the kids that covers ocean trash and a young sea lion's will to survive. THE ADVENTURES OF DUC at amazon/kindle books. Meet the main character at youtube, THE ADVENTURES OF DUC.
maria Taranto May 01, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Hay que lindo.

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