New Jersey seal enjoys new home at Detroit Zoo

'Jersey' was moved to Detroit after becoming too comfortable around people


ROYAL OAK, Mich. – A New Jersey seal that was becoming too comfortable around people is now enjoying her new home at the Detroit Zoo. 

The seal had been picked up multiple times in various locations by volunteers from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, and was becoming more and more comfortable around people. Bob Schoelkopf, founding director of the MMSC, said that when they picked up the seal being petted on a beach in Longport, they knew it was time to find her a permanent home. 

The MMSC worked in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service to find the seal a new home, and she was eventually brought to the Detroit Zoo in November. A contest was held and she was named "Jersey."

"Jersey is doing great, she appears to be thriving in her new home in the Detroit Zoo's Arctic Ring of Life," said Scott Carter, Chief Life Sciences Officer for the Detroit Zoological Society. 

When she came to Detroit, Jersey weighed just 100 pounds. She has thrived in her new environment, growing to 200 pounds and getting along with the other seals she shares the exhibit at. Zoo officials say that Jersey is a fast learner and keeps her trainers on their toes, and has figured out how to trick other seals for their food.

Schoelkopf says he's happy to hear that Jersey is doing so well in her new home. 

"We're thrilled to hear that Jersey is interacting so well with the other seals and visitors who come to see them in the exhibit. To know that she's doing well in her new home makes everyone at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center happy. Anytime an animal is given a second chance, even if it is in captivity, it makes our job worthwhile," Schoelkopf said.