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Photo by Samantha Connelly
Bondi enjoying a swim at Great Southern Oceans

Taronga’s group of male fur seals have been showing off their playful side, to the delight of researchers from the Australian Marine Mammal Research Centre (AMMRC).

Conveniently located in Taronga’s Great Southern Oceans precinct (with underwater views of the largest seal pool), the AMMRC are perfectly placed to observe our marine animals in action.

Recently, keepers put together a bachelor group of male fur seals (three New Zealand fur seals and one Sub-Antarctic fur seal) at the Seal Bay exhibit, allowing researchers to film and observe their behaviour.

The varied ages and experiences of the seals involved made for a very entertaining display for keepers and visitors alike, with youngsters, Bondi and Franklin, bringing out the playful sides of older seals, Mav and Ronnie.

Keepers also set up the exhibit with fish, squid and octopus hidden in rocks and crevices, allowing researchers to observe the natural foraging behaviour of these beautiful seals.

The ability for researchers to closely monitor seals’ behaviour in a zoo environment is invaluable for furthering our understanding of their wild counterparts and the staff and animals at Taronga are very happy to be able to contribute.

- Marine Mammal Keeper, Steve Dalleywater

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