Sparky the Sea Lion and her other seal lion and seal buddies moved into their brand new digs tis summer, named 'Como Harbor,' at Saint Paul's Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.

The group of finned animals known as pinnipeds features two gray seals, two harbor seals, and four sea lions (including Sparky).

Their newly redesigned 'Como Harbor' came at a cost of 21-million dollars, but it seems that they really like the upgrades that includes a pair of saltwater pools, new shaded amphitheater, and underwater viewing zone.

The seal and sea lion exhibit at Como Zoo has been a fixture for over 60 years. The “Sparky Show”, which began in 1956, has become one of Como’s most popular attractions, sharing fun, educational messages with thousands of visitors each day.

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The new seal and sea lion area was built with rocky outcroppings and naturalistic habitat features to resemble the west coast of the United States, where these creatures call home in the wild.

In addition to watching the seals and sea lions swim, splash, entertain, and eat lots of fish -- improvements have been made in the area for you and I to get a bite to eat too. Pier 56, a new outdoor café located near Como Harbor features all the good stuff like grilled burgers, pizza, salads, and kid’s meal favorites including hot dogs and chicken nuggets.

There wasn't a year in Fridley elementary school when we didn't take a field trip to Como Zoo (bag lunch with can of Holiday Stores pop wrapped in tinfoil). Every year nearly 500,000 students from across the region visit to learn about nature, conservation, and animal care.

Anyone remember the coin-operated machines that would make wax molded animals?

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