Bahia Resort Hotel’s Rescue Seal Pool
San Diego’s Happiest Rescue Seals
One of our guests’ favorite parts of our San Diego hotel is our friendly seal pals, Billy and Gracie! Both of our beloved seals are blind and were deemed unfit to be released back into the wild. They both found happy homes in our government sanctioned seal pond, where the sun shines year round. You can find Billy & Gracie near the entrance to the Bahia Hotel, directly in front of Café Bahia.
Billy and Gracie are very distinct in their markings and are easily differentiated from each other. Gracie is black and when basking in the sun she has some beautiful light spots on her belly. Whereas, Billy is light tan colored with brown spots. Gracie and Billy are like family and have a safe, lush and beautiful seal pool they call home.
Twice Daily: 9:00 am & 2:00 pm
Billy and Gracie are fed twice a day at 9:00am and 2:00pm. This is always an exciting time around the resort to get up close and personal with some of the local marine life, kids love to watch them eat!
Every Thursday a SeaWorld marine veterinarian expert is on site taking care of our seals, feeding them 4 pounds of fish stuffed with vitamins keeping them healthy. Each meal consists of Mackerel, Smelt, Squid and Octopus.
Meet Gracie, Our Loving & Outgoing Harbor Seal!
- Gracie is curious, outgoing and well loved by her caregivers.
- She loves to have her teeth brushed and responds to her name.
- Her playful personality thrills guests over and over again.
Gracie was born in 2009 around La Jolla Cove, California. Gracie was rescued by SeaWorld after she was abandoned by her mother at the young age of one month and unable to care for herself.
During rehabilitation, the staff discovered that Gracie had inoperable cataracts in both eyes. Sadly, because of her blindness, she had no chance to be released back into the wild.
Six months later, the San Diego Zoological Society brought Gracie to our rehab pond to live with our other seals. She fit in right away with the elder seals and her caregivers, Gracie became part of our family here at the Bahia Resort Hotel.
Say Hello to Billy, Our Friendly and Playful Harbor Seal!
- Billy is the most recent addition to the Bahia family.
- He is curious and active and seems to gravitate towards people.
- You can usually find him sun bathing on one of the rocks or chasing Gracie around the pool.
Billy came to live with us after he was found stranded on the Malibu Colony Surf Rider Beach. He was rescued by the California Wildlife Center in 2007. He was only 3 months old then, weighing in at a mere 27 pounds and evidently blind.
In February 2008, he was taken to the Marine Mammal Care Center, at Fort MacArthur, for treatment and rehabilitation. His health status deemed him unfit to be released back into the wild.
After much searching across the country the decision was made to send him to the Bahia Resort Hotel to join Gracie. Both the harbor seals quickly became fast buddies after they first bumped noses and a game of tag ensued.
Harbor Seal Fun Facts
- You can sometimes tell a Harbor Seal’s age by the number of growth rings in its teeth, but it may bite you if you try!
- Harbor Seals’ flippers used to be hind legs!
- Harbor Seals can hold their breath underwater for up to fifteen minutes!
- Harbor Seals sleep on the bottom for up to fifteen minutes!
Seals spend the majority of their time in the water searching for food or on packed ice floes, where they mate, give birth and care for their pups. According to the Antarctic Connection, more seal species live in Antarctica because of undisturbed food sources and the lack of predators, such as the arctic fox and polar bear, who live up north.
Seals feed primarily on fish, but they also eat squid, crustaceans, krill or mussels. To find food, they may dive up to 1,000 feet to the ocean bottom and dig in the seabed.
Seals have excellent eyesight and sensitive whiskers that can feel the movement of nearby fish. With sleek bodies that move swiftly through the water and strong jaws with sharp teeth, they can easily subdue slippery prey.
Seals detect prey with their whiskers.
The diet of seals is varied depending on the species, but most primarily eat fish and squid. Seals find prey by detecting food vibrations using their whiskers (vibrissae).