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Seals at the Seaside, Oregon Aquarium

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Aquarium at Seaside, on the northern Oregon coast.

This is a wonderful family adventure! Besides having a really nice, very kid friendly aquarium that's less than one block wide, perhaps the most entertaining part (for bigger kids like me) is feeding the seals. That's never gotten old during the thirty five years we've been making a yearly pilgrimage to Seaside.

For a dollar, anyone can get a container of small, dead fish to toss to the dozen or so harbor seals. Of course, the seals, being very bright, know how to work an audience. and they've learned to do tricks to attract food.

In this picture, several seals are up against the back wall, barking and singing (one sounds exactly like a chain saw), hoping to attract attention and fish. Other's slap the water at the patrons. Some do special tricks like swimming on their backs, and still others seem to get a lot of mileage by just sitting, staring with forlorn big eyes.
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  1. ljcowles5:11


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Thanks for your comments and concerns. I understand. I think that these seals are similar to zoo ambassador animals.

Perhaps some words from the Aquarium website would fill in the blanks:

"The seals have an area that provides them with another pool and a large dry resting area for night sleeping. These areas are available all the time; however, the seals choose to spend the majority of their day in the public viewing pool."

"The seals are fed on a regular schedule. They are not trained by the staff. These hams really enjoy what they are doing and have developed their tricks on their own. Each seal has a distinct personality.

"All of our seals were born here at the Seaside Aquarium. The Seaside Aquarium has a long history of successful seal breeding. We were the first aquarium in the world to successfully breed harbor seals in captivity. Now we concentrate on intentional parenthood. Some of the seals that are with us today are sixth generation Aquarium born and raised animals."

"These seals would probably not survive if they were released. Studies by the National Marine Fisheries Service indicate that harbor seals that have remained in captivity for more than one year do not readily adapt to life in the wild. Everyone who works for the Seaside Aquarium or is associated with the Seaside Aquarium cares deeply about these seals. We respect them as living creatures of our earth and take seriously the responsibility we have for their care and well-being. We are governed by the Department of Agriculture and the standards and regulations they set. We are inspected twice annually - without notice. We have a trained vet who makes monthly checkups.

"The average life span for harbor seals in the wild is fifteen years. The average life span for seals in captivity is twenty years. The Seaside Aquarium holds the record of the P.S.U Survey for having the oldest seal in the world at thirty-five years. Clara was a favorite with our visitors until her passing in 1979."


why do animals be imprisoned just to have people staring at them?? and this pond does not even look nice, or big enough

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