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Oregon Travel: Last Time Drexler Will Mate, Says Aquarium

(Seaside, Oregon) - It’s the farewell season for Drexler – Drexler the seal, that is.

Meanwhile, one educational organization is allowing the public to name one of Drexler’s seal pups.

The seal named after former Portland Trailblazer Clyde Drexler is soon going to be a father. But at 23 years old, he’s already outlived his expected life span at the Seaside Aquarium, and management at the Oregon coast landmark doesn’t believe he’ll be around for another mating season.

Two seals at the aquarium are pregnant because of this aging stud, both expected to give birth in May or June.

Manager Keith Chandler said Drexler is the only male of reproductive age that’s left at the aquarium. The others are about three years old now, and males don’t become reproductive until around six years old. Two male seals named Lewis and Clark are the “next up and coming studs,” Chandler said.

This means no other offspring will be born for at least three more years, which is just fine, Chandler said. “These two new pups will put us at capacity anyway,” he said.

The Friends of Haystack - an educational organization for Cannon Beach’s landmark basalt structure – is holding a benefit through the aquarium where the public can name one of the new seal pups. Chandler said for $1, you can purchase raffle tickets to get the chance to name the new pup. When it’s born, the raffle winner will get to pick the name (as long as it meets the approval of aquarium staff).

Proceeds from the raffle sale will go to The Friends of Haystack Rock, which helps support the Haystack Awareness Program in Cannon Beach, where educators set up shop at the foot of the rocky monolith and inform the public on natural aspects of the area.

Chandler said multiple entries are allowed.

Drexler was seen mating last summer, so staff suspected the females could well be pregnant. “We didn’t really know that she was pregnant until she showed,” Chandler said. “They’re always pretty big. But when they’re pregnant, they get even bigger.”

The gestation period for these types of seals is 11 months, Chandler said.

Drexler was so named because Chandler was impressed by ball player Clyde Drexler during the 1983 NBA drafts. The seal was born on June 29 that year, one day after Drexler made it into the draft.

Seals live about 15 years in the wild, and about 20 years while in captivity at the Aquarium.

Having been in existence since 1937, the Seaside Aquarium was the first in the U.S. to successfully breed seals in captivity, back in the 1950’s.

For more information, call 503-738-6211. Seaside Aquarium, on the Promenade, in Seaside. www.seasideaquarium.com.


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Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
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