National Doughnut Day is Friday, June 2, this year. Here at the New England Aquarium the Northern fur seals and California sea lions are celebrating with a box of treats from “Sunkin’ Donuts!” Our Marine Mammals staff made this special box of goodies from the animal’s favorite things: gelatin, ice, and fish! 

Watch as the Northern fur seals and California sea lions gobble down these delicious treats!

Seals and Sea Lions Do Doughnut Day

The delectable gelatin doughnuts are hand-decorated with silverside (a type of fish) “sprinkles” and squid tentacle “icing.” Forget Boston cream or jelly doughnuts, these ice doughnuts are stuffed with capelin (also a type of fish) and whole squid! Mmmmm…doughnuts.

a box of jello and ice donuts for seals and sea lions
A box of doughnuts fit for a fur seal or sea lion

The gelatin doughnuts are colored with natural plant-based food coloring. Not only is gelatin fun for the animals to play with, but is also incredibly hydrating. Seals and sea lions do not usually drink water, instead they get all of the water they need through the fish they eat. And because there is so much water in gelatin, it’s another way we can provide fresh water for our animals. Plus, how fun!

Here’s a look at this special enrichment activity.

fur seals inspect box of sunkin' donuts
Curious northern fur seals: What's in that box?
fur seals examine jello and ice donuts
Whee, it's seal-friendly doughnuts!
zoe the sea lion bites a donut
Zoe the California sea lion digs right in.
Zoe the sea lion tossing jello donut scrap into the air
Yep, definitely OK that she plays with her doughnuts. In fact, it's encouraged!
seals and sea lions and jello donut crumbs in empty box
A sign of a good time had by all pinnipeds: just one doughnut left.

Come learn more about these amazing animals and how we care for them at the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center.

And Happy Doughnut Day!