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Maritime Aquarium’s Polly, a popular harbor seal, passes away at 37

Polly, a harbor seal at the Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk, passed away last week at age 37, exceeding the 25-year average life expectancy for harbor seals under human care.

Born at Mystic Aquarium, Polly moved to Maritime Aquarium in 1990. She bore a distinctive heart-shaped birthmark on her chest and was said to be sassy and curious.    

Aside from new arrival Sono, born to aquarium residents Gracie, 21, and Feisty, 34, in April 2023, the facility’s five-seal population is geriatric, with an average age of 32. Two other harbor seals, Ariel, 33, and Tillie, 37, died late last year.  

“I feel grateful and lucky that Polly chose me to be her trainer for 7 years,” said Marisa Miloro. “We had a very special connection. I will always remember her and carry with me the lessons she taught me early in my career.”  

Trainer Marisa Miloro with Polly. (Undated photo: Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk)

Dr. Charles Duffy, the aquarium’s veterinarian, said: “Having worked with Polly for over 20 years, I am greatly saddened by this loss. She was a beautiful seal with an endearing personality. Her age is a testament to the excellent care she received throughout her life.”   

“It is always difficult when we lose an animal, and Polly was so special, both to our staff and to our guests,” said Rachel Stein, the aquarium’s animal husbandry director.

“She had such a wonderful, sweet personality, even in her older age. She touched the hearts of so many people during her time, and her presence will be deeply missed,” Stein said. 


One response to “Maritime Aquarium’s Polly, a popular harbor seal, passes away at 37”

  1. James Cahn

    Fair winds and following seas to Polly. We always enjoyed admiring her spots! She will be missed.

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