Took the kids to the Toronto Zoo last week to see the elephants. It’s not exactly clear just how much longer the zoo is going to have elephants, given a recent kerfuffle about the living conditions an elephant requires in this climate, so it seemed like a good idea to see them while it was still possible.
The zoo is a big place with lots of hills and the kids have short legs, so I made each one choose the one animal (other than elephants, which was a given) that they just had to see in order for the trip to be worthwhile. So we saw the the kangaroos, the baboons and the polar bears and then made a little stop at dad’s favourite place, the seal tank.
The seals were gone.
When I think about it, the seals might have been gone last time, too, but I think I just assumed they were all hiding somewhere because the entire pavilion was empty. This time, there were squatters where the seals should be. While engaging, they were clearly not seals. I did not wish to spend time watching not-seals cavorting in the place where seals belonged, so we moved on.
I am concerned, though, since local seals seem to be having issues lately. There has been a stink about Marineland and the seals there, a number of seals moving from London to the US died in transit and now the zoo has no seals. As I’m not likely to head to the arctic nor the coast any time soon, there may not be seals to see for some time. I do enjoy the other animals, particularly the Australian ones, but seals are seals and I can’t just arbitrarily choose another favourite.
So I have to content myself with these:
Look at ’em! Aren’t they cute? That’s a rare painted Seal at the bottom left. (Actually, so is the one at the top left, so maybe they aren’t that rare, but to see one in full glory is unusual.)
That’s a rare long-bodied white-trimmed Seal at the upper left and another couple of painted Seals at right. The Seal at the bottom left was so lonely (I guess) that the Montreal zoo decided to send his brother out to play with him and all they asked for in return was a special Flower. Really nice guys, those Montrealers.
Zip! Zoom! Nothing but energy and joy exuding from these Seals. That said, the one at the bottom seems to be injured or something. He’s all hunched over and has all four flippers wrapped. I’m sure he’s all better now.
Now, as seems to happen repeatedly with seals, these ones moved around a bit as well. They were sold to a group of nice people who first tried to build them a new home, then moved them away from their natural habitat and put them in an aquarium in Cleveland. Just two years later, they joined up with some folks in Minnesota who ran some sort of astronomy club and never let anyone see the Seals. Finally, in 1991, those same nice people took the Seals part out of the astronomy club, moved them back home into a brand new building for everyone to see. They dressed them up as Sharks for some reason, but nobody seems to have noticed.
Now, at our zoo, what is there currently in the seal tank?
Now, I get that some people really like Penguins. That’s fine.
But they aren’t Seals.
For those who like more than pictures, here are some Seals in action. They’re taking on Bears. Man, seals are brave.