By: Ann Kunz
On the 5th March we introduced Simba the yearling seal who had recently joined the uShaka Sea World family after being declared unfit for release. After being found on the banks of the Sundays River Mouth he was cared for at Bayworld before being fitted with tags and released. Unfortunately, shortly after being released he was again found on the Sundays River – this time climbing into recreational fishermen’s boats.
Since he arrived, the seal team have been working conscientiously with him to build a foundation of trust. They made enough progress that the SAAMBR Animal Health team was able to conduct in depth health checks. Thankfully, his blood results came back all clear and he was given the green light to start meeting the other seals in the uShaka Sea World seal colony.
This morning we introduced Simba to Nala who was the youngest seal in the colony before Simba arrived. They are both under four years old and have the same delightful youthful agility and playfulness. Nala is well tolerated by the older seals in the colony and we anticipated she would extend the same courtesy to Simba.
Nala was taken to Simba’s pool and after some hesitation gingerly entered the enclosure and slowly made her way over to the pool where she joined Simba who was staring wide eyed. Once they came close to each other they seemed instantly overjoyed and started nudging each other, swimming together and jumping in and out the pool behaving much like young siblings who had know each other all their lives.
This changed however when it was time for food. Simba did not enjoy the idea of sharing the attention of his caregivers or his food. We have no doubt he will soon learn that there is an abundance of both love and food at uShaka Sea World and he will quickly learn to share.
We are going to slowly, one by one, introduce the other seals in the colony to Simba and if all goes well Simba will be able to join the entire family within a couple of months.