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Hello, Javier! Virginia Aquarium welcomes 8-month-old harbor seal

Virginia Aquarium new harbor seal
Virginia Aquarium new harbor seal
Posted at 4:41 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 17:01:20-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Welcome to Virginia Beach, Javier!

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center announced it's welcomed Javier, an 8-month-old harbor seal, as its newest mammal resident.

Javier was safely transported to VAMSC from the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, New York, on February 10. He was moved to the Virginia Aquarium to provide more space for him to mature.

As a young seal pup, Aquarium staff say Javier boasts curiosity and playful energy and is expected to adjust well to his new surroundings.

Following the Aquarium’s standard procedure, he is in quarantine, working with the Animal Care team as he acclimates to a new environment, new caregivers and new behavioral training.

Virginia Aquarium new harbor seal
Javier, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center's newest harbor seal

“We are excited to welcome Javier to the Virginia Aquarium,” says Michele Sousa, Senior Mammal Curator. “Our team has begun basic behavior training and is working on building a mutual trusting relationship.”

Once the Aquarium achieves these milestones, Javier will join the Aquarium’s three harbor seals, Hector, 17; Rudder, 7; and Monty, 1; in the main outdoor exhibit.

"Our harbor seals are the first to greet guests as they arrive to the Aquarium; they are great ambassadors for the City of Virginia Beach, and they have a large influence on our mission to educate the public about marine life,” says Cynthia Whitbred-Spanoulis, CEO of the Virginia Aquarium. “We are honored to have Javier join us and look forward to the joy he will bring our community.”

You can follow Javier’s journey on the Virginia Aquarium’s Facebook and Instagram pages.