Meet Our Animals


Common Name: Atlantic harbor seal

Scientific Name: Phoca vitulina

Birth Date: May 20, 2006

Arrival Information: Arrived at Hersheypark the end of April 2015

Maturation: Adult

Average Weight: 125 pounds

My Story:

Mango joined the Ocean Connections family at the end of April 2015 and this female Atlantic harbor seal has been a wonderful addition to our colony!  Mango is one of our rescued animals and was approximately 1-2 months old when she stranded off the coast of Maine.  She was brought to the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center where she quickly earned the nickname “Boomerang” because she would continue to approach people after released and would be readmitted to the center.  After stranding three times, she was deemed non-releasable and in December 2006 was transported to the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) at Brookfield Zoo.

CZS laid the foundation for Mango’s training where she learning approximately 50 different behaviors!  Her main focus was on learning husbandry or voluntary medical behaviors which we have continued to advance at our sister facility in Hershey, PA where Mango currently resides.  These husbandry behaviors allow Mango to voluntarily present flippers for blood draws, lay still for x-rays, have her teeth brushed, and even present her belly for ultrasounds!  By practicing these procedures, it makes any medical work completely restraint free and allows our animal care team to provide all of our animals with the best possible welfare.

These husbandry behaviors have been especially important since Mango is expecting her very first pup!  Mango has voluntarily participated in routine checks daily that allow us the ensure that both mom and pup are healthy throughout the duration of the pregnancy.  This is the exciting result of the breeding loan that brought Mango and our male Atlantic harbor seal, Bumper, together.  Breeding loans between facilities are essential to maintaining the health and diversity of the gene pools within zoological environments.  We are expecting Ocean Connections’s newest bundle of joy to arrive sometime in May!