ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The Alaska SeaLife Center announced the birth of a male harbor seal pup to two of the center’s seals Tuesday, marking the mother’s second successful pregnancy in two years.
The new pup, born June 27 to Atuun and Snapper, was named Kobuk following a poll of center employees, interns and volunteers. The seal has exhibited rapid weight gain common to harbor seal pups, rising from an estimated 22 pounds at birth to 66 pounds, and Kobuk means “big river” in Inuit.
“Atty is a protective mother. We could tell by the pup’s obvious weight gain that he was receiving the nutrition he needed, so we chose to be hands off,” said husbandry director Brett Long.
“The pup is thriving and is behaving normally,” said husbandry manager Lisa Hartman, who has monitored the pup’s progress over the past four weeks. “He is playful with toys and ice and very curious during training sessions.”
Eight-year-old Atuun previously gave birth to a female seal, Kordelia, last year on June 8, World Oceans Day.
Kobuk’s public debut at the center is expected in early August.