Gray seal pup born at Brookfield Zoo

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A male gray seal pup with his mother, 13-year-old Lily at Brookfield Zoo. | Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

It wasn’t gold, frankincense or myrrh, but the Brookfield Zoo got its own gift the day after Christmas: the birth of a gray seal pup.

The male pup was born Dec. 26 to 13-year-old Lily, the west suburban zoo announced Tuesday. He is the third pup born to Lily and 13-year-old sire Boone.

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GalleryHe will remain behind the scenes until late February while he nurses, learns how to swim and bonds with his mother, according to the zoo.

The pup, who weighed 36 pounds at birth, has already topped 100 pounds, according to the zoo.In the wild, pups are born in the winter and put on several pounds of blubber a day.

Though he is technically a “gray” seal, pups are born with long, white fur called lanugo that moltsin two to four weeks. It is then replaced with shorter, stiffer hair similar to that of adults.

Gray seals are not threatened in the wild, but there are only 25 living in 10 North American institutions. Five of the gray seals reside at the Brookfield Zoo.

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