Louisville Zoo launches gray seal webcam, announces naming contest

People can now watch the seal pup at the zoo and help decide on his name.

The boy seal pup has been weened from his mother, Rona, and is working on his swimming skills. People can watch him practice in his private pool by clicking here.


The Louisville Zoo also announced following three names being considered for the baby boy:

  • Finsbay (Fins-bee)
    Glacier Run keeper Tracy Unger put forth this name and based her recommendation on the fact that the natural habitat for gray seals includes the coasts of the Northern Atlantic Ocean including Scotland. Off the western coast of Scotland is a group of islands called the Outer Hebrides and Finsbay is a town in that group of islands. Finsbay is known for its trout, arctic char, sea trout, and salmon fishing which makes it a logical stopping point for harbor and gray seals.  The seals can be seen basking there any time of the year and return to land to molt near Finsbay in February through April. Finsbay is located south of the island of Rona, which is the origin of our seal Rona’s name.
  • Oban (Oh-bn)
    Glacier Run keeper Anna Stradley put forth this name and based her recommendation on the Scottish Sea Life Center in Oban, Scotland, which became involved in seal conservation and rescue in 1980 when they took in a harbor seal pup that was abandoned by her mother. In more recent years, they have rescued on average 12 – 15 pups a year, releasing them back to the ocean once their rehabilitation and rearing was complete. Unfortunately, the center had to close due to financial issues in 2018, but they rescued and released 41 gray seals while in operation.
  • Noaa (No-uh)
    Glacier Run keeper Drew Koch put forth this name and based his recommendation on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency that works to keep the public informed of the changing environment. NOAA’s roots date back to the 1800’s and is America’s first conservation agency. Today, NOAA Fisheries are responsible for the nation’s ocean resources and their habitats. The western population of gray seals are found off the northeast coast of North America from New England into Canada.

People can vote for their favorite name until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 23 by clicking here or by dropping dollars and coinage in the naming kiosk on the Zoo’s plaza.

The Louisville Zoo is planning on announcing the winning name on at 10 a.m. on Feb. 25.

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