Leopard Seal Serenade
Friday 5th July 2013
Leopard Seal Serenade
Steve plays the saxophone to Casey the Leopard Seal

The soulful sounds of a saxophone echoed across the Zoo this morning, when Steve, one of the Elephant Keepers put on a solo performance for Casey our Leopard Seal. 

Casey came right up to the glass of his exhibit to check Steve and the saxophone out. He swam and snaked  through the water as the new sounds filled his surrounds. 

With the backlit pool and haunting music filling the underwater auditorium as Casey moved his powerful body rhythmically through the water, it was certainly a different start to the morning at the Zoo.

The serenade was all part of our environmental enrichment program, which provides the animals with different things to heighten their senses and change-up their environment. Leopard Seals have been discovered to have a highly complex vocabulary of sounds. Our Australian Marine Mammal Research Centre has played Casey different noises and sounds under water, so when Steve mentioned that he played the saxophone, we thought why not put on a special concert for Casey?

Casey is the only Leopard Seal in the world to be cared for by a zoo. He washed ashore at Wattamolla south of Sydney in poor health in 2007. From the Antarctic, it was recommended that he not be returned to the wild in case he transferred any unknown diseases to the fragile wild population. 

Steve described the performance as one of his more unique audiences, and definitely one of the largest if you’re talking about the size of the individual. Casey tips the scales at a whopping 180 kilograms.  

Steve said it’s a performance that he, Casey and the other keepers won’t forget in a hurry.