The Detroit Zoo Harp Seal
The Detroit Zoo's one-and-only harp seal, 3-year-old Pequot – is believed to have a congenital defect which caused him to go blind. Pequot was found stranded in August of 2009 on a Massachusetts beach. He was taken to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut and then transferred to Detroit in December 2009. Visitors of the Arctic Ring of Life can see Pequot swimming among the Zoo's grey and harbor seals. The Arctic Ring of Life is North America's largest polar bear exhibit, which also houses arctic foxes. This state-of-the-art, interactive facility encompasses over four acres of outdoor and indoor exhibits. The most unique feature is the spectacular 70-foot-long Frederick and Barbara Erb Polar Passage, a clear tunnel that takes visitors underneath diving and swimming polar bears and seals. This award-winning habitat was named the second-best exhibit at any zoo in the U.S. by The Intrepid Traveler's guide to America's Best Zoos.
The harp seal has a dark, saddle-like marking on the back and sides of its light-yellow and gray body, which is why it is also known as a saddleback seal. It has a stout body with front flippers that have thick claws and hind flippers that are used for swimming. To move on land, a harp seal will pull itself forward with its front flippers. Pups are known by their snow-white fur.
Scientific name: Pagophilus groenlandicus
Continent: The northern-most parts of North America, Asia and Europe
Habitat: Arctic pack ice
Size: 5-6 feet long
Weight: Up to 400 pounds
Diet: The harp seal is a carnivore and eats various fish and invertebrates such as arctic and polar cod and krill.
Reproduction: Gestation 11.5 months; single pup
Lifespan: 35 years
Conservation Status: Least Concern