Maine-born seal found abandoned as pup turning 40 with grace

Posted May 23, 2011, at 9:35 a.m.
Last modified May 23, 2011, at 1:42 p.m.

BOSTON — Smoke the seal looks to be handling turning 40 pretty well.

Smoke lives at the New England Aquarium and is believed to be the second oldest seal in captivity.

She’s a year younger than a seal in Wisconsin. She’s lived at the aquarium since she was found abandoned as a pup on a Maine beach in May 1971.

Seals in captivity typically outlive wild seals, which live to their mid-20s. But Smoke’s longevity stands out. In recent decades, the aquarium hasn’t had a seal reach 30.

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Smoke has poor vision but still freely moves around the exhibit and seems in great health otherwise.

An aquarium vet says there’s no reason to think Smoke won’t be around several more years.

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