Two harbor seals at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium are pregnant and expecting pups next month.
Q, a 14-year-old who came to Tacoma from Seattle Aquarium last year as part of a breeding program, fathered pups with Qilak and Shila.
Gestation periods for harbor seals range from nine to 11 months, with only one pup born each year.
This is the first time Q has fathered pups.
On Tuesday, Q and 28-year-old Barney were sent home to Seattle Aquarium, which just finished renovations on its seal exhibit. It’s scheduled to open in June.
Accompanying them was a female seal from Point Defiance, who is on loan for breeding purposes.
Biologists are hoping to boost the captive harbor seal population, which numbers about 200 in 50 or so zoos and aquariums.