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With Seals Ahoy!, Melbourne Zoo's spring school holiday program, just around the corner, it seemed fitting to focus this months animal profile on Gordo, the Sub-Antarctic Fur Seal and the smallest member of the Zoo’s seal group.
Gordo was found malnourished and dehydrated on the main beach at Warrnambool in 2003, over 2000kms away from his most likely birthplace on Macquarie Island.
He needed urgent treatment, and because seals found in such poor condition have a low likelihood of surviving on their own, it was decided to treat and keep him at Melbourne Zoo. Since recovering from his adventure to Warrnambool, Gordo has become an important part of Zoos Victoria’s Seal the Loop campaign and he participates in the daily seal presentation.
Gordo has quite refined taste buds and enjoys nothing more than tucking into a large squid.
Gordo’s Keepers say that he has a nice nature and is eager to please, so he trains very well and has taken part in many special guest encounters over the ten years he has been here.
During the warmer months, seals will come ashore for a variety of reasons particularly as pups are weaned and become independent from their mothers for the first time.
If you find a stranded or distressed seal please keep your distance and report it to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries Customer Service Centre on 136 186.