Gordo is a Sub-Antarctic Fur Seal, probably born in the breeding colony on Macquarie Island. This species doesn’t breed on the Australian mainland but some individuals do visit the coastline from time to time.
He was found emaciated and dehydrated on the main beach at Warrnambool on August 28, 2003.
As he was a yearling not adjusting well to life away from his mother, and because he was so far from the normal range for his species, it was decided to keep him in the Zoo’s care. After a period of quarantine and recovery, he was introduced to the seal group on December 4, 2003.
Gordo is the smallest seal at the Zoo, the only male, and the only one of his species.
Wild Sea Keeper Mark says that ‘Gordo can get bossed around a bit by the other seals but will be seen at times sticking up for himself. He is not by nature a confident animal, so we work closely with him to develop his confidence. He has a loud and very distinctive high-pitched call, and can often be heard calling by anyone in the area.
‘Gordo trains very well and is very eager to please his keepers. He is good natured and has starred in hundreds of special guest encounters over the years. Hundreds of thousands of Zoo visitors have delighted in seeing his acrobatic skills in our daily Seal The Loop presentation.
‘Gordo is very food motivated and loves fish and squid of all types, but large squid are his favourite!’