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UPDATE ON HARBOR SEAL BOSCO

Bosco in the snow

Posted February 2021

Male harbor seal, Bosco, the newest member of the Zoo’s harbor seal family, is now 10 months old!  Born on June 3, 2020, he’s growing fast, and zookeepers say he’s doing great!

Harbor Seal BoscoHe’s learned several new behaviors through his training sessions with keepers and he’s managing well with the recent snow and cold. Some of the behaviors he’s learned include: To come when called; to touch (also known as targeting) the keepers’ hands and a buoy; and to circle in both directions.  He also comes onto the scale for weighing, although at times he can be stubborn about this particular behavior. His most recent weight was 99 pounds. (Visitors may recall he weighed 24 pounds at
3-days-old.)

He’s very comfortable around Cossette, the Zoo’s 5-year-old female seal. Both often sleep inside on cold nights. He’s also getting along well with Milo, the Zoo’s 2-year-old male, as they like to roughhouse and play together. 

Bosco, along with the other harbor seals, receive live fish as part of their enrichment, and all seem to love it!  Enrichment allows animals to show similar behaviors to what they would in the wild and gives them the ability to make choices.

Harbor Seal BoscoInterestingly, Bosco still eats his fish tail first!  And now, as he’s grown older, he won’t eat fish pieces without a tail!  Recently, his diet has been reduced as winter is almost over and keepers say he’s a little “butterball.”

Overall, Bosco has settled into the group well, and is very calm and trusting of his keepers.  Visitors should stop to see him on their next visit – he’s usually swimming in his outdoor habitat and seems to enjoy the Wisconsin weather!

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