Meet Bixby, the first seal born at the Aquarium of the Pacific. The nearly four-month-old harbor seal made her debut last week joining the other animals in the Aquarium’s Seal & Sea Lion Habitat. The Aquarium revealed that City of Long Beach employees had suggested names for the seal pup, and Long Beach City Councilmembers voted on the final name. The name Bixby was suggested by City of Long Beach employee Marina Ohlson Smorick in honor of historical figure Jotham Bixby “The Father of Long Beach.” “We are proud of the name our City has given to our first-born seal. When people visit Bixby, we hope they become inspired to help protect our urban ocean,” said Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president & CEO.
The young female seal has been growing behind the scenes and now weighs approximately 50 pounds. When Aquarium biologists moved Bixby into her new permanent home today, the seal was immediately met by the other seals and sea lions. The Aquarium’sharbor seals Shelby and Troy are the parents of the seal pup, which was born on April 26, 2012 and weighed about 20 pounds at birth. Shelby came to the Aquarium in 1998. Troy , the Aquarium’s only male harbor seal, came to the Aquarium in 2007. Female harbor seals typically give birth to young starting at four to five years of age. Shelby is sixteen years old, and this is her first pup. Shortly after birth, the seal pup and mother were moved behind the scenes for bonding and nursing. More recently the pup was introduced to solid foods and began learning behaviors to aid Aquarium biologists in caring for her as preparation for joining the other animals inside the Seal & Sea Lion Habitat.