Rescued Fur Seal Pups at Mystic Aquarium
Mystic Aquarium kicked-off an “insider’s exclusive” program for members this week with a “sneak peek” at new northern fur seal pups, Avila and Kivli. Members were invited on a first-come, first-serve basis to reserve their spot in a behind-the-scenes experience to learn more about Northern fur seals and these two perky pups before they go on exhibit later this year.
Rescued in early 2016 off the coast of California, Avila and Kivli arrived at Mystic Aquarium on April 28. After failed rehabilitation efforts, both animals were deemed non-releasable by the federal government. Mystic Aquarium, as one of only four AZA facilities that comprise a consortium to care for Northern fur seals, will be providing a permanent home for the two pups. There are currently eight (8) Northern fur seals in human care in the US.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the Callorhinus ursinus or Northern fur seal is classified as Vulnerable (VU); meaning the species is “considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.”
These two female Northern fur seals will be critical to the future of the species; providing an important role in future breeding opportunities and breeding research. The research will be pivotal as Consortium scientists and researchers strive to understand the causes for the population decreases and provide insight in hopes of contributing to the recovery of the species.