Skip to main content
Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal

Common Name:
Harbor Seal
Scientific Name:
Phoca vitulina
Gestation Period:
300 days
  • Marine
5.5 ft
Life Span:
25 yrs
Number of Young:
275 lb

Did you know the harbor seal's whiskers help detect prey, obstacles, and other objects in the water? Learn more about harbor seals. 

Care & Wellness:

The harbor seals have a rich training program that keeps them physically and mentally healthy.  Keepers train the seals to present body parts for inspection, move throughout the habitat, and wiggle their flippers.  The seals also voluntarily accept eye drops and allow keepers and veterinarians to apply ointments.

  • Much more solitary than other seals and sea lions, but may haul out of the water together
  • Graceful swimmers, their front flippers steer while the back flippers push them forward.
  • Most dives are less than 100 feet and they tend to stay underwater up to 10 minutes.
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)
Fun Facts:
  • Oil from a gland on their skin helps waterproof their fur.
  • Their whiskers help detect prey, obstacles, and other objects in the water.
  • Harbor seals are true seals and therefore do not have ear flaps or hind legs that can rotate forward.
  • Torpedo-shaped body is incredibly efficient in the water
 A harbor seal swimming in its pool.