Breaking! Rasal the Harbor Seal Makes Superbowl LVII Pick

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In a 6-yard rush from the bottom of Pinniped Cove to the surface of the water, Rasal made her Super Bowl LVII pick at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk.

— an announcement from The Maritime Aquarium

“Rasal’s Super Bowl pick is something we look forward to every year at the Aquarium,”said Senior Trainer Dylan Salamone.

“This year was especially exciting because she learned a new behavior — an underwater retrieval — to make her pick. Like the players in Sunday’s big game, she trained for this moment for weeks!”

Rasal’s pick: the Kansas City Chiefs. Losing out: the Philadelphia Eagles. Super Bowl 57 will be played on Sunday, Feb. 12. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

In past years, Rasal retrieved objects on the surface of the water to make her pick. To prepare her for the dive, the Aquarium’s Animal Husbandry team worked with her during daily training sessions to learn the behavior in stages.

First, she learned the toy torpedoes representing the two teams were objects of interest. Then, after making small retrievals on the surface of the water and establishing her trainer wanted her to bring the objects back, she worked on retrieving from deeper depths.

Rasal harbor seal Maritime Aquarium

Image from the Maritime Aquarium video

Rasal’s got her eyes on the baton.

Each step of the way, Rasal received a reward – either capelin or herring. As the difficultly of the skill increased, so did the value of the reward.

Rasal is 37-years-old. She came to The Maritime Aquarium in 2005 from Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, and is currently one of seven resident harbor seals that live in Pinniped Cove. Prior to her aquarium life, she was a member of the United States Navy.  

Pinniped Cove opened in June of 2021. It is eight times larger than the Aquarium’s previous exhibit and allows guests to view the seals from three sides and two levels. Visitors can watch Seal Training Demonstrations daily at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. 

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