10:30 AM

New Harbor Seals and Sea Lion Arrive at Hersheypark

Three Marine Mammals Join Aquatheatre Family

Just in time for the holidays, Hersheypark welcomes three new marine mammals!  Thanks to renovations made at the Hersheypark Aquatheatre last year, Hersheypark is proud to provide a forever home to three marine mammals with special needs who recently lost their home at the Milwaukee County Zoo.  Harbor seals Scooter and Satara and a female California sea lion, Reese, were transported to Hersheypark this past weekend. They are meeting new friends and nicely acclimating into their new environment.  

Since 2009, Hersheypark has partnered with Ocean Connections to immerse guests in the world of marine animals, animal care and environmental protection. The cast from Our Friends From The Sea features non-releasable seal and sea lions who can inspire positive action toward our ocean and environment. 

Ocean Connections CEO and President, Shelley Ballmann, says: “The well-being of all our marine mammals is prioritized daily.  To ensure success for all animals, we evaluate social structure, animal personalities, age, genetics, and environmental capacity.   Setting each animal up for success meant relocating Ripley, a rescued fan favorite California sea lion in Hershey, to our Ocean Connections Myrtle Beach location, where he was reunited with his favorite flippered friend, Diego.   Trainers accompany all animals during transport and remain onsite to ensure a smooth acclimation into new environments.”    

We are excited to announce that new friendships are being made and old pals reunited with all animals settling in nicely. Be sure to stop by the Aquatheatre to welcome our three beautiful new pinniped friends!


Reese is a spunky 8-year-old female California sea lion that was born to her mother, Geneva, and named for the classic Hershey candy, Reese’s.  Reese has a naturally occurring birth defect in her throat that makes her esophagus one-quarter of the size it should be.  She would not have survived in her natural habitat and our animal care team has worked tirelessly to ensure she is comfortably eating fish.  This little lady ensures smiles in everyone she meets.  Her boundless energy is sure to capture your heart.


Scooter is a 27-year-old male Pacific harbor seal that got his name for the way he would scoot up onto his mother’s back as a pup to take a nap.  He developed cataracts at an early age and although he is visually impaired, he continues to thrive.  Our animal care team has modified his training to ensure his success and provide him with exceptional welfare.  Scooter is a fan favorite in daily presentations and interactive experiences.


Satara is a 29-year-old female Atlantic harbor seal and was among the first seals to call Ocean Connections Milwaukee home.  Small but mighty, the beautiful seal has a larger-than-life personality.  She is our medical marvel, surviving not only an initial bout of West Nile in 2020 but also a relapse in 2022.  Not much is known about this disease in seals other than it tends to be fatal.  Satara continues to not only beat all odds but is amazing her marine mammal veterinary specialists, as well as the human neurologists who are directing her care.  You can’t help but cheer for this sweet and sassy seal! 

While the animals adjust to their new home, our priority is allowing them the opportunity to engage at their own pace.   Hersheypark will be offering Seal & Sea Lion Shows, Feedings, and Photo Sessions this weekend so if you are planning a trip, be sure to stop by the Aquatheatre and you might be able to welcome our new additions!

Admission to Our Friends From The Sea show is included with a Hersheypark ticket. When the Park opens at 12 p.m., showtimes are at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.