Harbor seal, Q is going to be a dad!

Harbor seal, Q is going to be a dad!
Harbor seal, Q from the Seattle Aquarium

 

We are excited to learn from the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium that one of their harbor seals is pregnant and a second may possibly be expecting as well! Our harbor seal, Q, who is living at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as part of a breeding exchange, is the father.

Harbor seal, Qilak from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Harbor seal, Qilak from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

 

Qilak's (pronounced Kee-lak) impending pup delivery is confirmed by ultrasound.

Harbor seal, Shila from Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
Harbor seal, Shila from Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

 

Shila (pronounced Shi-lah) is thought to be pregnant, but she is reluctant to have a probe placed on her abdomen, and veterinarians have been unable to verify a pregnancy with ultrasound. Her weight and behavior are pointing towards pregnancy.

The pups are expected in June but a precise due date can’t be determined since harbor seals have a period of delayed implantation of the fertilized egg, which means gestation can range from 9 to 11 months.

In the wild, harbor seals generally have one pup per year.

Q, who is 14 years old, came to Tacoma from the Seattle Aquarium a year ago as part of a cooperative Species Survival Plan breeding program. Qilak, 9, and Shila, 8, were both born in the wild. They came to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in 2009 from Alaska Sea Life Center. You can see them all in the facility’s Rocky Shores exhibit!

Subscribe to the Seattle Aquarium Blog

Get news and updates from the blog delivered to your inbox