Tune in to WGBH Channel 2 in Boston during Wednesday evening's broadcast for a special Aquarium perspective from the Director of Media Relations Tony LaCasse!
Relationships between wild animals and people have always fascinated us. In the 1970’s and 80’s, the New England Aquarium was home to an amazingly charismatic animal that seemingly bridged the gap between two different species. Andre the seal was a male harbor seal that was raised as a pup in the home of an irascible Mainer named Harry Goodridge. Their relationship over 25 years, including nearly 15 years of winters at the New England Aquarium, is the subject of a well-crafted, new PBS program called "The Seal Who Came Home" that will run on WGBH 2 this Wednesday (8/27) at 7:30 p.m. and will re-air Saturday (8/30) at 2:30 p.m..
|Harry looking down at Andre in the water | Credit: Courtesy of Goodridge family|
|Just one of the family | Via Google Images|
As Andre grew into adulthood, Harry was faced with many problems keeping Andre happy and safe. The cold, Maine winters always posed a challenge. Eventually, Harry struck an unusual bargain with the New England Aquarium where Andre spent the winters in the harbor seal exhibit.
|Andre's head in water | Credit: Courtesy of Goodridge family|
Come April, Andre was driven to Marblehead, MA and released. He would then spend a few days to a couple of weeks harbor-hopping his way up the coast until he arrived in Rockport, Maine, his home. This annual migration became a regional ritual and received national media coverage as a harbinger of spring. With his outgoing personality, Andre approached people on the water, interacted with them and then continued on his way.
|Andre and Harry | Via Google Images|
The bond between Andre and Harry was lifelong. Their story reminds us that our relationships with other creatures often makes us better people.
If you can't tune in on Wednesday, you can watch the program here. And if you're looking for more about harbor seals and other marine mammals at the Aquarium, click over to the Aquarium's Trainers Blog to learn more about these animals.