Kaiako is our resident New Zealand fur seal, rescued from the wild as a pup after being hit by a boat which permanently damaged his flipper. Unable to be released back into the wild with his injuries, Kaiako instead has lived a full and happy life in Auckland Zoo’s ‘The Coast’.
Now in his golden years, a little more care, special attention and thought needs to go into managing his wellbeing. As a geriatric animal, Kaiako gets regular check ups from our vet team, especially looking for any signs of deterioration in his vision or mobility after he recently developed a cataract in one of his eyes.
With Kaiako’s low vision, the team has had to adjust the way they work with him – rather than teaching our seals visual cues we are now teaching them verbal and physical cues. Thankfully, keeper Laurel says Kaiako is ‘a real smart cookie’ and has adjusted perfectly!