Northern Elephant Seal Is Zoo’s Coolest New Resident

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A very cool animal is making his debut at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Coolio is a northern elephant seal, and is the only one of his kind in any North American zoo.

At just 1-year-old, Coolio was rescued after being found on a California beach. He was malnourished and severely injured.

He is now blind in one eye. And, as a result, could not be released back into the wild.

Coolio will be on display in the aquarium’s Water’s Edge exhibit.

“He does like to swim around,” said Amanda Westerlund, the marine mammal keeper at the zoo. “He will explore his new exhibit and we do a lot of training with him as well. We have four feeds a day, so visitors will be able to see our training program with him. He knows over 40 different behaviors, husbandry behaviors so that he can help us with his own healthcare.”

The seal’s keepers say he is transitioning into his new home slowly.

And he is helping them gather new information and learn more about northern elephant seals, which will be shared with other institutions and experts.

He arrived at the zoo in April of 2014.

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