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Brookfield Zoo's first birth of 2014 marks another first for the suburban Chicago zoo.
A male grey seal pup, the first of its species born at Brookfield Zoo, was welcomed around 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day, the Chicago Zoological Society announced.
The pup weighed just over 25 pounds at birth, and staff estimate he will triple or quadruple his weight in the next month. He and his mother, 10-year-old Lily, will remain off exhibit for several weeks to allow mom and baby to bond.
The birth brings the zoo's number of grey seals to six, the most in any North American zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
"This birth, as well as the pup’s gender, is significant to the overall North American population, which consists of only five males and 17 females," the zoological society said.
Other members of Brookfield Zoo's grey seal population include Boone, 10; the pup’s father, Minnow, 27; and females Tasha, 10, and Della, 23.