Antics never fail to delight
WITH their cute faces and diving prowess, it’s easy to see why the seals are crowd pleasers at Taronga Zoo. Marine mammals keeper Adrienna van Gogh shares her insights into these endearing mammals. What do you love about working with seals? They are so intelligent, curious and are lots of fun. The seals in our show are excellent ambassadors for their wild counterparts and help us encourage our visitors to make sustainable seafood choices. What are the difficult aspects of the job? Working in the heavy rain or wind, cleaning up seal poo and smelling like fish. Despite this, I still feel like I have the best job in the world. Describe a typical day in the life of your seals? They relax, socialise, explore and play with toys. Seals are great problem-solvers so we hide fish in ice blocks and toys. Seal presentations provide them with the opportunity to work closely with their keepers and learn new behaviours. What should visitors look for? We have a very exciting new addition, an Australian sea lion pup named Maximus. Do the seals each have distinct personalities? They are all different and special in their own way. We really embrace all of their unique personalities and give them all a chance to shine. Michi is one of our Californian sea lions and he has the loudest bark and loves to learn new things. Max’s dad, Malie, is very relaxed and one of his favourite things to do is solve puzzles.