NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The Buttonwood Park Zoo added two Atlantic harbor seals to its ever-growing family earlier this month.
The New Bedford zoo welcomed 2-year-old Luna and 1-year-old Conway from the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn.
The female harbor seals have already begun bonding with Blue, who was born at the zoo back in 2003. Both seals were introduced to Blue straight away and have quickly acclimated to their new home.
“There were lots of nose-to-nose breath exchanges at first and then Luna immediately sat on Blue’s back – who was not bothered by it in the least,” head zookeeper Kristy Kaeterle said. “We knew then that this was going to go well.”
Blue has been the zoo’s sole harbor seal since his mother Yellow passed away back in June.
Kaeterle described Conway as being a little seal with “lots of personality.”
“She made herself at home immediately – she follows us around quite a bit and is very interested in the enrichment we offer,” she said. “Luna is a little more reserved but is coming out of her shell more and more each day.”
Luna was born on the night of a lunar eclipse, Kaeterle added, and Conway is named after the late Dr. William Conway.
Buttonwood Park Zoo has cared for seals for more than five decades, according to director Gary Lunsford. Visitors can see the trio of seals in their habitat, which is located in the middle of the zoo.