Brookfield Zoo has its New Year’s baby – a grey seal pup born about 7 a.m. Jan. 1. Weighing in at a whopping 25 pounds, he is the first of his species ever born at the zoo.
The seal pup and his mother, Lily, 10, will be off exhibit bonding for the next few weeks.
Grey seal pups are born with long white fur called lanugo, which is molted in two to four weeks and replaced with hair similar to that of adults. Although zoo visitors will most likely not be able to see the pup at Pinniped Point before he molts, they can see updated photos and video of him at www.CZS.org/GreySealPup or the zoo’s Facebook page, the zoo said in a news release.
Brookfield Zoo is now home to six grey seals, the most in any North American institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the zoo release said. This birth, as well as the pup’s gender, is significant to the overall North American population, which consists of only five males and 17 females, it said.
In addition to Lily and her pup, other members of the grey seal group at Brookfield Zoo include Boone, 10, the pup’s father; male Minnow, 27; and females Tasha, 10, and Della, 23.
Grey seals can be found in coastal waters.