Skip to main content

Feisty – the seal who escaped during Duluth flood – makes debut in New Mexico

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Feisty – the seal who became famous overnight after escaping Duluth's Lake Superior Zoo during the historic 2012 flood – is settling into his new home in New Mexico.

The 25-year-old seal had been living at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul since the floods, and in November he was brought to the ABQ BioParkZoo, the City of Albuquerque says. He was on quarantine for a few weeks before moving into the zoo's Seals and Sea Lions exhibit, where he's living with three other seals and one sea lion.

"He's doing very well," said Shelly Dicks, ABQ BioPark zookeeper supervisor, said in the city's news release. "He's very mellow and laid back. While he was on quarantine, the trainers got to know him and his personality. He has a lot of trained behaviors, which makes him great to work with and very interactive."

But there's one big difference about the seal. Back when he was living in Duluth, Feisty was always called a she – the sister to Vivian, the Lake Superior Zoo's other seal, Forum News Service says.

Zookeepers in Duluth have thought Feisty was a girl since he arrived in Duluth in 1991 – there was nothing to indicate he wasn't, the news service notes. Seals' external genitalia is usually kept hidden, which can make it hard to determine their gender, and Feisty didn't show any mating behavior that would indicate he was a male.

When Feisty was living at the Como Zoo, zookeepers there discovered signs he was a male and informed Lake Superior Zoo.

The fact that Feisty was male is one reason he moved to Albuquerque. The zoo was looking to add a seal to exhibit – especially one that could be a potential mate for Gracie, another harbor seal, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Feisty, Vivian and Berlin the polar bear escaped their enclosures during the 2012 flood, and Feisty became famous when someone snapped a photo of the seal on Grand Avenue.

The animal's unique story has ABQ BioPark excited, the Albuquerque Journal notes, adding after his adventure someone made Twitter and Facebook accounts in honor of him.

“I don’t think a lot of seals have a back story like that,” ABQ BioPark zookeeper supervisor Shelly Dicks told the paper. “It’s quite unusual.”

Berlin is now living at the Kansas City Zoo, where he went in hopes of mating with another polar bear. But that hasn't happened, and his potential mate is moving to another zoo, the Duluth News Tribune recently reported.

Vivian had to be euthanized in 2013 following emergency exploratory surgery, reports note.

Next Up

7F060B54-5776-4E1A-A42C-F36C22FAF493

Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

image

State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.

image

Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Related

Duluth's Feisty the seal makes a comeback on social media ... as a New Yorker?

The seal that swam out of her enclosure at the Lake Superior Zoo and took a trip down Grand Avenue during Duluth's summer flood became a social media darling. Now the photo of Feisty is making a comeback, but under false pretenses. The picture is part of a flood of bogus or doctored images purportedly from this week's storm on the east coast. Can New Yorkers really claim Feisty? Fuggedaboutit!

Mother, daughter escape from sinking car during flash floods

An Anoka mother and her teenage daughter managed to swim to safety before their car was submerged by flood waters Tuesday morning. Officers responded to nine incidents that required pulling people from submerged vehicles, Anoka police said. Most streets filled up quickly due to fallen leaves blocking storm drains.

Who will pay to rebuild flood-ravaged Duluth?

Northeast Minnesota is still assessing the damage done by historic flooding this week. Ultimately, who will pay to rebuild public infrastructure? It'll likely be a mix of federal and state money. WCCO's Jason DeRusha tackles the issue in his "Good Question" feature.