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A new pup: Zoo in Kentucky celebrates birth of gray seal

December 29, 2020 GMT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Louisville Zoo is celebrating the birth of a gray seal.

The mother, 6-year-old Rona, gave birth Monday morning to her first pup and both are doing well, the Zoo said in a statement. Staff at the zoo had been monitoring Rona for several days in anticipation of the birth. The sex of the pup isn’t yet known.

“The birth went very smoothly, with no complications,” said Associate Veterinarian Dr. Julie Ter Beest. “We’re delighted to see that Rona’s maternal instincts appear to be strong. The pup is vocalizing normally, has nursed, and appears healthy.”

Since it is the first pup for Rona, zookeepers are taking measures to ensure she bonds with her newborn. Both will remain off exhibit for several weeks and zookeepers plan to wait until the pup is weaned to perform a neonatal exam, officials said.

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A naming contest will be announced at a later date.