New Seals Swimming

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.

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.

Kevin Bell



Nice article.

Thank You!

We're glad you enjoyed it.

Seals Swimming Photo

Nice photo new seals swimming.


We're looking forward to seeing them swim in warm weather again!

Correct me if I'm wrong. But

Correct me if I'm wrong. But I seem to recall that a few years back, maybe like 8 or so, the Kovler Sea Lion habitat had both gray and harbor seals. I'm not thinking of Brookfield either.

And what happened to the two grey seals that were there?

Re: Correct me if I'm wrong

You do remember correctly--the Kovler Sea Lion Pool used to feature harbor seals and gray seals living together! Over the years, though, the members of this mixed group naturally aged and passed away. This spring the exhibit housed only one geriatric gray seal, who "retired" to a quiet spot at another institution as the pool underwent renovations prior to the current group arriving here.

Great post, thanks to the

Great post, thanks to the author.

Re: Great post, thanks to the

Thank you!

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This is an excellent resource of information. Always fresh ideas and interesting posts. Thank you so much for all your efforts.

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