Drexler the seal just turned 26!!
Many female seals at the Seaside Aquarium have lived through their midtwenties,
but Drexler is the oldest male seal the aquarium has ever had.
Drexler was born June 29, 1983 and named after the then little-known
basketball player, Clyde Drexler. Aquarium Manager Keith Chandler says,
"Drex was born the morning after Clyde Drexler was drafted to play with
the Portland Trailblazers. Here was this player who was drafted out of the
University of Houston after his sophomore year and he was a little overshadowed by Hakeem Olajuwon but I knew
he was going to be great."
Drexler the seal grew to be a crowd favorite.
Heís the loud seal heard from blocks away,
the one who needs food, "NOW NOW
NOW." For many years, his best trick was
interception. He would jump up and catch fish
pieces intended for some other seal. He has
also been the dominant male seal in the pack
for many years. Chandler says, "Heís a leader.
In the evening after weíve closed, the other
seals wonít go into the back seal tank area
until Drex has gone back. He is the dominant
male, but heís really a cupcake. A big teddy bear." Both Chandler and Aquarist
Jason Hussa describe Drexler as a gentle, friendly seal. When they enter the seal
pen, he greets them with a gentle nudge or whisker brush on the leg.
Chandler tells how Drexler has always spent time by the back gate, where the handlers enter the seal enclosure to
clean the area and to feed the seals. If the gate is left open, Drexler will peek out but not try to escape. Chandler
found Drexler one time sitting outside the gate looking guilty, as if to say "I didnít mean to."
"Someone had not closed the gate completely and Drexler had nudged
the gate open, climbed out, and then the door closed behind him.
Instead of exploring, he just sat there with a worried look on his face."
Drexler can be identified by his one white eye, a result of a scuffle with
Clark (one of our younger seals). In the wild, seals with eye injuries or
cataracts become very vulnerable to predators and have a difficult
time catching food. At the aquarium, if they donít see well enough to
catch fish from the public, they are fed extra in the back.
Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.