Estimated Wild Population
Harbor seals can reach up to six feet in length, with males usually slightly larger than females. Specially adapted flippers help these aquatic mammals move quickly through the water while a thick coat of waterproof fur helps them stay warm. Harbor seals range from light gray to dark brown in color, and their fur is accented with colored spots and rings. They primarily feed on fish, mollusks, squid, and crustaceans. After breeding, females give birth to a pup on land. Newborns can swim and dive within hours.
Interesting Fact 1
Every year, harbor seals return to the same breeding ground, where males compete for females.
Interesting Fact 2
Although hunting harbor seals is illegal in the United States, they are hunted by humans—and great white sharks—across much of their range.
Interesting Fact 3
Adults can remain underwater for up to 30 minutes, allowing them to chase a variety of prey.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
Support Your Zoo
Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.