The New York Aquarium has an adorable new seal pup

The New York Aquarium has a furry new resident who reinvigorated life here in NYC.

Sidney, a female seal pup rescued as a newborn near Abalone Point in Laguna Beach, California, entered the aquarium in November and lived her best life at the zoo’s Sea Cliffs exhibit.

Sidney was only hours old (and likely born prematurely) when she was spotted alone on a rocky beach in February 2020. Her umbilical cord was still attached, but her mother never appeared.

Photo: Courtesy of PMMC

The team at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) in Laguna Beach brought Sidney back to her facility, where she received 24/7 care for a month, including feedings every two hours to gain weight!

The Wildlife Conservation Society says these first few weeks are crucial as they are usually cared for and basic survival skills learned by the seal’s mother. Unfortunately, despite PMMC’s efforts, Sidney has not been able to develop the skills necessary to survive in the wild.

Because of this, it was planned to bring them to the New York Aquarium. Aquarium staff flew to California to meet and connect with Sidney. Once she was comfortable enough and trained to volunteer to step into her shipping crate, she was ready to travel.

Sidney the Seal Pup
Photo: Courtesy of PMMC

When she arrived in November, the aquarium staff worked closely with her every day to get her used to the new excavations and to move smoothly to the seal colony there.

Sidney already has a best friend here in NYC. She is closely related to Murphy, another female seal who was born in the aquarium last summer. They are often seen playing together.

Sidney the Seal Pup
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS

“We are grateful for the excellent care the PMMC Sidney rescue team has provided and we will ensure that it is well looked after at the New York Aquarium,” said Craig Piper, interim director of the New York Aquarium and WCS director of city zoos. “We pride ourselves on working with other conservation organizations to help individual animals like Sydney while protecting entire species and their habitats around the world. When New Yorkers visit Sydney, she will be a lovable ambassador for their and other species of marine life that we believe will have a positive impact on the way people think about and engage with nature. “

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