The Long Island Aquarium will say goodbye to one of its most beloved residents Sunday, as Bumper, a two-year-old Harbor seal, leaves Riverhead to start his new life at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Bumper was the second seal born at the East Main Street aquarium. His older sister, Coral, left in April 2010 to join the New York Aquarium.
The seals were moved to prevent inbreeding and because the facility can only accommodate a certain number of animals, aquarium officials said.
“Our little boy is leaving his pool on the East End of Long Island to travel a great distance to meet new friends,” said senior mammal trainer Candyce Paparo. “We are sad to see him go, but know that our current seal exhibit is regulated for a certain number of animals.”
Bumper will make the 1,000-mile trip to the Wisconsin’s Oceans of Fun, which is located inside the Milwaukee zoo, in December. He is currently being housed in a holding pool before his trip.
Long Island Aquarium officials are certain he will thrive in his new home.
“We are very excited that Bumper is going to such a great facility, where he will be involved in shows and interactive guest programs,” said the aquarium’s director of mammal training, Ann Yaiullo. “And he will be in great company, joining two other harbor seals, as well as multiple California sea lions.”