In the heat of the summer, kids love to hang out on top of all kinds of flotation devices in pools, ponds, and at the beach. However, the fun of getting on and staying aboard an inflated object at the water’s surface does not appear to be unique to the human species. Luna, a nearly 2-year-old, 38-pound fur seal pup, absolutely loves a newly introduced 4-foot-wide plastic disc at the New England Aquarium’s New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center. Just like people, the most successful individuals at staying afloat are not necessarily the coolest or most athletic kids. Luna is small, adorable, and feisty. But being nearly the youngest animal in a colony of eight Northern fur seals and California sea lions, she is on a lower rung of the social hierarchy. However, she has the perfect combination of size and launch speed out of the water to both get on and stay on the disc that spins about and is fun in its own right. More importantly, the disc keeps her elevated above the much larger adults that are swimming by, and none of them have been able to figure out how to get onto the float. For a brief time each day, Luna is the proverbial princess of the pool.

Luna and her Float

Luna came to the Aquarium after stranding last year on Newport Beach in Southern California. Young and underweight, she spent time recovering at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The National Marine Fisheries Service did not think she could survive in the wild, so the Aquarium was asked to take her in. Although smaller than her peers, Luna has a lot of spark and verve. She’s learning to keep up with her fellow fur seals and sea lions just fine.

trainers roll out float
The trainers roll out the float in front of an eager audience.
luna on her float
Luna feels right at home on the float.
trainer and luna play on float
She and her trainer Terra often interact on the float.
luna peeks out from under her float
Peek-a-boo
luna climbs on to float
Climbing up
luna on her float grooming
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