Seals hit it off at New York Aquarium

Aug. 2, 2010 at 6:55 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The New York Aquarium said its 23-year-old male harbor seal appears to have hit it off with a 3-year-old female seal introduced as a companion for the mammal.

The Wildlife Conservation Society said 3-year-old Coral was introduced last month to the habitat with 23-year-old Bernie -- who had not seen another seal since he was weaned from his mother -- and a family of sea lions. Doral and Bernie seem to be sparking a romance, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

"It was our opportunity to get him a companion of his own species," aquarium Director Jon Dohlin said. "It was our hope they would show interest in each other."

Aquarium staff said the seals have been spotted kissing in a behavior known as breath exchange that builds bonds between seals.

"They may have already engaged in copulatory activity," Dohlin said. "We're hoping to hear the pitter-patter of harbor seal flippers before too long."

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