EDMONTON – A baby seal is the most recent member of the Edmonton Valley Zoo family.
Nika, the 10-week old Northern Fur Seal, was born in the zoo’s Arctic Shores habitat on July 20th to mom Misha. After spending her first 6 weeks in the smaller indoor birthing pool with her mom, Nika has been basking in the larger salt water outdoor pool since the end of August.
Staff say both she and her mom are doing extremely well.
“Nika is swimming like a pro and is fitting in with the other animals,” Dr. Milton Ness, the zoo’s veterinarian, said in a release.
“She’s becoming very much more interactive, she’s learning now how to eat fish, and she’s learning how to play. We see her grab toys, being very interactive,” he told Global News.
Currently, there are only 19 Northern Fur Seals living at zoos in North America, including the 4 at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists the Northern Fur Seal as threatened. So having the animals at the zoo is considered a conservation effort.
“We look forward to Edmontonians getting to know Nika and finding out what we can do to protect the seals’ Arctic habitat, which is an area of great concern as it undergoes climate change,” said Dean Treichel, operations supervisor at the zoo.
To find out how to further support the conservation efforts happening at the zoo, click here.