photo - head, should shot of new gray seal, with eyes that seem to ask "where am i?" handsome face, with whiskers

Louisville Zoo Welcomes Two New Gray Seals

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
Direct: 502-238-5331  |  Media Only: 502-744-5639

Boone and Minnow, two male gray seals, have joined the other pinnipeds on regular rotation at the Louisville Zoo’s Glacier Run exhibit. Both seals come to Louisville from Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. Minnow is 31 and Boone is 13.

The two join California sea lions Triton (28), Bart (25), Gremlin (14), Riva (4), harbor seal Toney (16) and gray seal Rona (4).

The Louisville Zoo has a rich history with this species. Eight seal pups have been born at the Zoo and when twin seal pups were born in 1979, they were the first twins to be documented in a managed system like a Zoo.


Gray seals are found in temperate and subarctic waters on both sides of the North Atlantic. Seals have good senses to help them hunt. Their eyesight is excellent because of the time they spend underwater. Pups are born with a soft, white hair coat called the lanugo. By the time they are weaned the lanugo is molted and the pups assume the adult coloration. Seal pups don’t swim until they have molted. Seal pups are weaned after nursing only four weeks during which they gain 100 pounds. Gray seals can sleep underwater for up to 30 minutes at a time. This species can be distinguished from harbor seals by their longer noses, wider set nostrils and size, which is approximately twice as large as harbor seals. They primarily eat fish.


The Louisville Zoo, a nonprofit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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