Harbor Seals

Short front flippers and they inability to "walk" on land separates harbor seals from their close relatives — walruses and sea lions. Harbor seals swim by moving their hind flippers from side-to-side like a fish. On land, their hind flippers remain extended behind their bodies and they inch forward like a caterpillar.

Unlike most other pinnipeds, harbor seal pups can swim at birth. They only nurse from their mother for about four to six weeks. Then they must learn to forage for food on their own.

You can enjoy the Harbor Seals along with the Sea Lions at Pacific Point Preserve. Then get one step closer with our Sea Lions Up-Close Tour, where you'll get to find out what it takes to care for the seals and sea lions, pose for a photo with a sea lion, and feed buckets of fish to dozens of seals and sea lions! Add this experience to your day by clicking 'Select' under the Add to Cart section to the right.

Connect with our harbor seals during feeding time at Pacific Point Preserve. Sea lions are there too, so you can test your skills at comparing and contrasting these similar species.

Q: Where do harbor seals live?
SW: They’re found in temperate, arctic, and subarctic waters of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. In Quebec, Canada, a small population of harbor seals lives in freshwater lakes.

Q: What do they eat?
SW: They feast on a variety of fishes, squids, octopuses, shrimps and crabs.

Q: How big do they get?
SW: Fully grown males reach lengths of 4.6 to 6.6 ft. (1.4 - 2 m), while the slightly smaller females reach lengths of about 4 to 5.5 ft. (1.2 - 1.7 m).