Lincoln Park Zoo has changed immeasurably over the years, but one feature looks much the same now as in the zoo’s earliest postcards: the Kovler Sea Lion Pool.
This aquatic exhibit at the heart of the zoo has welcomed guests since 1879. Yesterday it welcomed its latest residents as three male harbor seals from Sea World splashed into the water for the first time. These playful marine mammals were quick to explore their new home, diving to its depths and swimming back to the surface.
One of the harbor seals peers out of his new home. Photo by Megan Ross.
In the coming week the trio will begin their daily public operant conditioning sessions with keepers. The voluntary sessions, which guide the seals to present different parts of their body for inspection, are a new experience for this group, so our animal care experts will move slowly. But they offer a great opportunity for the individuals to receive extra engagement—and participate in their own care.
In the meantime, come see these new arrivals as they glide through the water. It’s always amazing to observe them in their natural element.
Speaking of observations, I’m happy to share that the Observe to Learn iPad app produced by the Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation and Collaboration received a Bronze MUSE award this week at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting. The self-guided app walks users through the process of studying animal behavior like a zoo scientist.
It’s gratifying to see the Hurvis Center receive this tribute from its peers so soon after its February launch. I encourage you to download the app to explore it yourself. Maybe you can make the new harbor seals your first study…
Have a great Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect time to visit your favorite animals—and drop in for a bite at the Patio at Café Brauer, which opens this Friday.