News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

February 21, 2020


Two Grey Seal Pups Make Debut at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill.—Guests visiting Brookfield Zoo’s Pinniped Point will now be able to see the two grey seals who were born in January. The female pups, named Peanut and Celia, were born on January 9 and 10, respectively.

For the past month the young grey seals also have been developing strong relationships with the animal care staff in their behind-the-scenes environment, which is important as the pups begin exploring and learning behaviors that will be important for their future care. A part of developing these bonds with the pinnipeds includes hand feeding every animal. This is critical for Peanuts and Celia to ensure they are getting the right amounts of food for proper growth and development. Currently, they both are eating between five to seven pounds of fish daily.

Once both are comfortable with their new outdoor environment, they will be given access to the other three areas at Pinniped Point and will meet some of the other grey seals and sea lions.

The pups look nothing like they did at birth when they were covered with long, white fur called lanugo (pronounced la-NOO-go). This white coat is molted in two to four weeks and replaced with shorter, stiffer hair similar to that of adults. Peanut and Celia have shed their white fur and have put on significant weight since their birth due to their mothers’ extremely rich milk.

“These two grey seal pups are such a joy to watch and we are excited for guests to now be able to see Peanut and Celia,” said Rita Stacey, marine mammal curator for the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages the zoo. “Brookfield Zoo is one of only 10 facilities in North America to feature the species. Giving people the opportunity to see them here, we hope to share some of the threats their counterparts face in the wild and ways to help protect these charismatic pinnipeds.”

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About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit

organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit

Photo Captions—credit Kelly Tone/Chicago Zoological Society

0920: Celia (left) and Peanut, two female grey seal pups, made their public debut today, February 21, at Brookfield Zoo’s Pinniped Point. The pups were born on January 10 and 9.

1057 and 0990: Celia, one of two grey seal pups who made their public debut today, February 21, at Brookfield Zoo. Celia took to the water right away.


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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