Bay is a wild born seal found malnourished at the Shoreham foreshore near Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula on October 22, 2007.
She was a yearling who was not adjusting well to the stresses of living independently.
As all Australian Fur Seals give birth in November or December, mothers wean off their young born the previous summer in time to prepare to give birth again.
It was decided that Bay would not have a good chance of survival if she were taken back to the wild.
As this was the time when Wild Sea was under construction, Bay spent six months at Taronga Zoo before returning to Melbourne Zoo in time for the new exhibit to be opened.
Keeper Mark says that ‘Bay is extremely playful and energetic. She will often be seen at the underwater viewing window interacting playfully with keepers and visitors in the Deep. She enjoys playing with toys and, in particular, Bay likes training and keeper interaction.
‘ Bay is a fast learner, so we are constantly coming up with new behaviours to teach her, as she enjoys the learning process so much. In fact she learns her new behaviours so fast that we have to work hard to give her new things to learn!’
Mark adds that ‘Bay is quite bossy towards the other seals, even with bigger seals.
‘She is very food motivated, but she can be a bit fussy about her fish! She prefers smaller fish over larger ones. She does not like Blue Mackerel. She also dislikes the taste of the vitamin tablets that we hide in her fish, so sometimes she spits them out, much to our annoyance!’