A harbor seal pup (Phoca vitulina) was born at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) New York Aquarium while the facility remains temporarily closed to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new arrival—named Murphy—is a female pup born to mother, Coral, and father, Pickles. 

“The pup is doing well and getting used to her surroundings,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and New York Aquarium Director. “The latest member of our harbor seal family is a reminder that life goes on at the aquarium regardless of the temporary closure. The essential staff caring for our animals every day should be commended for their hard work and unwavering commitment to the animals during these difficult times.”

Harbor seals are common along the east and west coasts of North America and frequently spotted in New York waters. They are a species protected in U.S. waters by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The new harbor seal pup is not the only addition to the Sea Cliffs habitat during the coronavirus pandemic; in April, New York Aquarium staff moved “Erie” a California sea lion pup born in October, to Sea Cliffs.  Harbor seals and sea lions are just two of the over 300 species exhibited at the New York Aquarium.