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Gray Beauty

The seals welcome all visitors to the Long Island Aquarium! Located right outside the main entrance, the 800-square foot natural rockscape pool sponsored by Saf-T-Swim provides a home to four harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and one gray seal (Halichoerus grypus).

Unlike sea lions, harbor seals and gray seals are true seals. They lack the ear flaps that sea lions have, but they are just as beautiful! They spend much of their day either lying around on the shorelines or hunting for fish and marine invertebrates in the sea.

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Trainer Jenna Mercurio petting Calypso the Harbor Seal

The Long Island Aquarium’s gray seal, Gray Beauty, has a particularly compelling story. She was rescued by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. Despite her blindness from cataracts, Gray Beauty was patiently nurtured at the Long Island Aquarium until she was able to comfortably navigate the exhibit on her own.

The Aquarium’s Marine Mammal trainers work with our seals throughout the day. You can stop by anytime to watch the seals perform a variety of training behaviors or you can simply watch them play! Don’t miss the Seal Training & Feed Session each day at 11:30am.

Name Animal Gender Origin Date of death Birthdate
Gray Beauty Gray Seal F Rescued Alive unknown
Buoy Harbor Seal F unknown Alive unknown
Calypso Harbor Seal F Captive born Alive May 30, 2011
Cecil Harbor Seal M Captive born July 31, 2015 June 15, 2000
Daisy Harbor Seal F Captive born Alive May 21, 2015
Max Harbor Seal M Captive born Alive April 29, 2000

Old Exhibit (2000-2012)

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The seals welcome all visitors to the Long Island Aquarium! Located right outside the main entrance, the 800-square foot natural rockscape pool, which holds 30, 000 gallons of water and whose water temperature is 45-50 degrees in the winter and 70 degrees in the summer, provides a home to 4 harbor seals and a gray seal named Gray Beauty, who has a particularly compelling story.

Gray Beauty was rescued on April 30, 1997 on a beach in east Hampton. She was originally diagnosed with a severe respiratory infection, chronic cataracts, and was under weight at only 104.7 lbs. She was then eventually deemed non-releasable by national fisheries service. The aquarium decided to give her a permanent home in the seal exhibit so, in October 2000, a husbandry and training program was implemented. On December 6, 2001, she was transferred to a small holding pool in the seal exhibit. She nows knows over 35 different commands which are all spoken differently and made sure are said with her name first so she does not get confused while being fed near other seals.

New Exhibit (2013-present)

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The first two harbor seals to arrive were Max and Cecil. Max was born on April 29, 2000 at SeaWorld Orlando. Cecil unfortunately passed away in around 2015.

The first seal born at the aquarium was Coral. Coral now lives at the New York Aquarium. The next seal born was Bumper (b. June 14, 2009). Bumper now lives at Oceans of Fun and arrived there in January 2012. The third seal born was Calypso (b. May 30, 2011). Both Coral, Bumper and Calypso are pups of Buoy, a female harbor seal who was born on June 1, 1992 at an aquarium in Cape Cod. She is also a grandmother to Daisy (b. May 21, 2015), the fourth, and latest pup to be born at the aquarium. She is the pup of Calypso.

Around the seal exhibit, you may find statues of seals. These statues are molded after the seals that live in the exhibit.

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