Animal Facts
    Common Name:
    Harbor Seal
    Scientific Name:
    Phoca vitulina
    • Much more solitary than other seals and sea lions, but may haul out of the water together
    • Graceful swimmers, their front flippers steer while the back flippers push them forward.
    • Most dives are less than 100 feet and they tend to stay underwater up to 10 minutes.
    275 lb
    5.5 ft
    Life Span:
    25 yrs
    Gestation Period:
    300 days
    Number of Young:
    • Marine
    Fun Facts:
    • Oil from a gland on their skin helps waterproof their fur.
    • Their whiskers help detect prey, obstacles, and other objects in the water.
    • Harbor seals are true seals and therefore do not have ear flaps or hind legs that can rotate forward.
    • Torpedo-shaped body is incredibly efficient in the water
    • Disease
    • Pollution
    Endangered Status
    Endangered Status
    • Extinct in Wild (EW)
    • Critically Endangered (CR)
    • Endangered (EN)
    • Vulnerable (VU)
    • Near Threatened (NT)
    • Least Concern (LC)
    • Not Evaluated (NE)

    The harbor seals have a rich training program that keeps them physically and mentally healthy.  Keepers train the seals to present body parts for inspection, move throughout the habitat, and wiggle their flippers.  The seals also voluntarily accept eye drops and allow keepers and veterinarians to apply ointments.

    Saving Species Plan Logo

    This species is cooperatively managed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program program. This program is responsible for developing a Breeding and Transfer Plan for each species in the program.