Fifteen 2015 Seattle Aquarium animal highlights

What a year it was! There’s a lot to look forward to in the new year, but first a look back. We’ve rounded up our top 15 animal highlights from 2015, take a look!

1–2: Welcome to Leu and Flaherty

Fur seals Leu and Flaherty joined us last March from New England Aquarium. At 4 and 3 years old, respectively, they are relative youngsters and it will be a treat to see them grow up. Leu now weighs in at 102 pounds; younger Flaherty is tipping the scales at 78 pounds. They’ll be between 350 and 600 pounds when they’re fully grown!

Leu and Flaherty

3: Sweet young puffling

What’s a puffling? A puffin chick, and we were delighted to welcome one on August 1, 2015. We later determined that the chick is a girl.

Baby puffin

4–12: Orcas galore

It was a banner year for the Southern Resident orca community—eight baby orcas were born in 2015, making it the biggest baby year since 1977, when nine calves were born to J, K and L pods (the group that comprises the Southern Resident community). Best wishes to all the new babies and their moms in the coming year!

orca baby

13: Hello, Hogan

After much anticipation, harbor seal Hogan arrived at the Seattle Aquarium from Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (PDZA) on December 8, 2015. Hogan is the 2 ½- year-old offspring of our own Q and PDZA female Shila. Come meet him on your next visit to the Aquarium!

Hogan

14: Mishka, Mishka, Mishka

Northern sea otter Mishka arrived in late January, 2015—and was diagnosed with asthma late last summer. She’s since learned how to use an inhaler to receive the medicine she needs; read our previous blog post for the story.

Mishka using inhaler

15: Salmon surge

2015 included the largest run of fall chinook salmon that the Columbia River has seen since 1938. At the Seattle Aquarium, we celebrated the hatching of our chinook salmon in December—read our blog post for details!

Chinook salmon alevins hatching

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