Wednesday, December 17, 2008
While Ellie, our eldest harbor seal who was born and raised in New York carries herself around with a dignity that is reminiscent of the East Coast Socialite that she was named after, Shelby, our other female harbor seal is a definitely an outgoing California Girl. She was born and raised on the West Coast and carries herself around like a SoCal surfer girl.
Shelby is one of the original pinnipeds of the Aquarium of the Pacific. On Grand Opening Day back in 1998, she was a precocious 3 year old seal peering out at all the visitors through the underwater tunnel. During the Aquarium’s Grand Opening year you could always find Shelby at the window interacting with guests. She was so full of energy and curiosity that the original marine mammal staff decided that they needed to train her to do a lot of high energy behaviors to keep her from getting bored. You can easily tell which one of the seals is Shelby. Just look for the one that is doing porpoises out in the middle of the exhibit, rolling, bouncing and turning like a gymnast on the beach, and spinning like a top in the water. She’s also considered one of the prettiest seals on the West Coast. Troy our young male harbor seal seems to really appreciate that fact as he always seemed to be following her around like a shadow. However, Shelby actually treats poor Troy like a kid brother who she can seem to shake when she’s out and about. I always wonder if Troy gets a bit jealous as I often give Shelby an impromptu hug while working with her.
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