February 14, 2020

Comfortable, Curious, and Confident

Nessie is adapting well to her new home at Water’s Edge


When Nessie recently moved to Water’s Edge, keepers were thrilled but also a little curious to see as how their other female seal, Ellie Mae, would react to Nessie in her territory, since Ellie Mae has been known for her strong personality.

While Nessie was excited to meet Ellie Mae, Ellie didn’t exactly welcome Nessie with open flippers.

The very first time the two females met, Nessie followed Ellie around and mimicked her movements. Ellie wasn’t too happy having Nessie around her constantly, but as the two spent more time together, Ellie quickly warmed up to her. The keepers are happy that the two are getting along so well, but what surprised them even more is that strong-willed Ellie Mae now seems to be following Nessie’s lead!

At just about two-years-of-age, Nessie has a lot of energy and is curious about everything. While she is always eager to learn new behavioral requests, she often loses focus and gets distracted. When she swims off to another pool or goes to see what the sea lions are doing in the middle of a training session, keepers patiently wait for her to return.

So far, Nessie doesn’t seem interested in new enrichment or toys unless she knows that fish are involved. Her favorite fish is herring, but she now happily eats the other fish offered as well.

Next up for little seal is meeting the California sea lions, Nav and Piper, who will spend time on exhibit alongside the seals. Nessie and the sea lions can see and smell each other right now, but they are not yet sharing the same space. When keepers are confident that Nessie is ready to meet them, they will begin introductions.

Once all introductions are successfully completed, Nessie will venture outside to the large pool for her first swim on exhibit this spring!

Bottom: Ellie Mae Top: Nessie