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Louisville Zoo celebrates Mother's day with baby boom, free admission for mothers

The Zoo is also celebrating first-time mom Tonie, a 20-year-old harbor seal, as well as zebra and giraffe pregnancies!

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — What better way to celebrate with your mom on a warm, sunny Mother's Day than with a free trip to the Louisville Zoo?

That's right, this year the Zoo is offering moms free general admission during regular hours for Mother's Day 2022.

Louisville Zoo spokesperson Kyle Shepard said the Zoo is also celebrating Tonie, a 20-year-old harbor seal that just became a new mom!

Tonie's daughter was born on Tonie's birthday, April 29, so both officially share a birthday. Harbor seal Oscar is the young pup's father.

"All Zoo births are exciting, especially when we welcome our first-ever harbor seal pup," Zoo Executive Director Dan Maloney said. 

According to Senior Veterinarian Dr. Zoli Gyimesi, both Tonie and her daughter are doing well. Zoo keepers reported that Tonie is being attentive and showing good maternal care. 

The pup even began swimming just a few hours after her birth.

Credit: Kyle Shepherd, Louisville Zoo

Maloney said the Zoo was also celebrating two additional expecting animal ambassadors, Kianga the giraffe and Azizi the zebra.

"We can't wait for our community to watch their journeys and greet these new arrivals," he said.

For now, Tonie and her pup will remain off exhibit for several weeks while the two bond and the pup is weaned and eating fish. However, if you want to get a look at Tonie and her pup, visit the Zoo's live seal cam!

Shepard said since the pup's parents are Oscar and Tonie, the Zoo is sticking to an awards theme for the pup's name. 

Guests can help choose a name by donating to the Zoo and choosing between Emmy, Grammy and Nobel.

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