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Staff at Alaska aquarium teach basic husbandry skills to blind harbour seal rescued last month

ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu speaks to the media during a news conference at the International Civil Aviation Organization global safety meeting Wednesday, February 4, 2015 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

SEWARD, Alaska – A blind harbour seal is learning basic behaviours such as being fed by hand at an Alaska aquarium.

Officials at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward say the pup, named Bryce, was rescued in late December in Homer, Alaska.

The veterinary staff at the centre believes he suffered a head trauma, which caused his blindness.

Officials say in a release that Bryce is learning basic husbandry behaviours, such as hand-feeding and learning how to target based on audible cues when staff members shake a rattle in place of a target buoy.

Centre staff members say he might have improving sight, but only in one eye.

Federal officials say Bryce can’t be released back into the wild, so he will stay at the centre until a permanent home can be found.