Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do seals eat ice?
A: The harp seals obtain fresh water by consuming ice and snow, as well as from the food they eat.
Q: How deep are the holding tanks that the seals live in?
A: Both circular tanks are about 2½ m deep (8 feet). The satellite tank is about 1⅓ m deep (4 feet).
Q: Why are the seals in separate tanks/ the same tank/ on deck/ etc.?
A: Via the platforms and ramps, the seals have free access to all three tanks, as well as the deck, and can choose where they want to be.
Q: Do seals stay outside all the time?
A: Yes. In the wild, seals remain outside their entire lives. Seals prefer to be outside in cold weather.
Q: Why do seals quiver? Are they cold?
A: Often, seals will shake as if they are shivering, but this is not because they are cold. Like humans, seals may shiver due to something other than physical cold – e.g., to rid themselves of flies.
Q: Why do some harp seals have patches while others have solid colours?
A: Colouration is based on age as well as species:
Tyler is an adult harp seal with “smutty” colouration – he has a harp pattern but it is difficult to see because his coat is so dark.
Babette is an adult female harp seal. Her harp can clearly be seen (the dark wishbone shape on her back).
Lenny and Deane are pre-adult and have harps but still retains the patchy belly of a juvenile..