Ever wonder how we get the baby seals to learn to hunt for fish? One of the first steps involves making their food look fun and interesting – and what looks more fun and interesting than actual live fish!?!?!
During the first few weeks at MARC, our volunteer force goes on fun fishing trips down the road from the facility to catch small, live fish for the pups. These small fish, mummichogs (or mummies for short) are tiny minnows that are caught in the shallow waters in the spring and summer.
With a few people, a big net, some shallow water and a few buckets, eventually a few dozen fish can be caught.
And maybe even a crab or two
The young pups quickly become interested in chasing and squishing the live fish…. eventually they even begin to swallow them.
Each pup is different. Some take to eating fish very quickly and others take their time developing their skills. But at some point, they will all make the change to eating the large, fatty herring that helps them build a nice thick layer of blubber.