Oregon Coast Aquarium mourns death of beloved harbor seal

Pinky the Harbor Seal passed away at the Oregon Coast Aquarium on December 30, 2020 (Photo provided by the Oregon Coast Aquarium).

NEWPORT, Oreg. — The Oregon Coast Aquarium announced that a staple of the aquarium, Pinky the Harbor Seal, passed away today at 34-years-old.

Habor seals generally live into their 20s in the wild, but oftentimes make it to their 30s when in the custody of humans. The Oregon Coast Aquarium’s, Curator of Marine Mammals, Brittany Blades, shared her appreciation for the seal.

“We will all miss Pinky deeply, and how she always photo bombed our selfies with her need to always be present around us humans,” Blades said.

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Pinky arrived at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in May of 1992 when the Aquarium first opened. She was one of the original seals to call the aquarium home.

She was first discovered on June 25, 1986 in Cordova, Alaska. Pinky was stranded, so she was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego for rehabilitation. It was there that the young seal sustained a serious sunburn, earning the name ‘Pinky’ in the process.

Pinky was described as dominant. She wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything despite weighing just 170 lbs. She was known to steal fish from her male counterpart named Max, who weighs more than 500 lbs.

Her favorite enrichment, according to aquarium officials, was munching on ice cubes. She was also known for painting by holding a modified brush in her mouth and making elegant sweeping motions across a canvas.

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