DES MOINES, Iowa — More than a month after its birth, a seal pup born at the Blank Park Zoo finally has a name.
The baby girl was born Aug. 7 and weighed 30 pounds. Her mother is "Meru" the harbor seal.
800 votes later and with 37% of the vote, the zoo announced Friday the baby's name is "Mira," which means "peace" and "ocean."
“While the harbor seals’ conservation status is listed as ‘least concern,’ they are facing pressures in natural areas because of a lack of fish to eat," Travis Wickersham, area supervisor of carnivores and primates, said last week. "This is due to over-fishing, rising ocean temperatures and ocean pollution, such as plastics."
Other name finalists included Brooks (in honor of Garth Brooks), Siku and Remi.
Zookeepers are beginning to introduce the pup to Hub Harbor, where her parents and three California sea lions live. The parents have been at the zoo since 2011. Both were deemed non-releasable due to injuries and ailments sustained in the wild.
"Harbor seal pups wean from their mothers at four to six weeks, so there will be times during the next couple of months that she will not be available for viewing," the zoo added.
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