BROOKFIELD, Ill. (WLS) --The size of the gray seal family at Brookfield Zoo has increased by one after a new female pup was born on Jan. 2, 2016. Her mom is 11-year-old Lily and the new pup's brother is Charles, who is almost exactly two years older than the new arrival. Boone is the father and he lives outside, enjoying the good life.
PHOTOS: Gray seal pup born at Brookfield Zoo
At just four days old, new baby seal is cuter than a box full of puppies.
"The female pup is doing great. She's already exploring her environment and nursing and bonding with mom right now. She came out at about 33 pounds and is about three feet long," says Rita Stacey, Curator of Marine Mammals for Brookfield Zoo.
She doesn't have a name yet but she does have a beautiful white coat that will disappear in a few weeks. She also has a giant sized appetite.
"Mom's milk is incredibly rich and it's about 50 percent fat and so the pup will gain three to five pounds every day for the next three to four weeks," says Stacey.
One of the most amazing things about gray seal pups is that they become totally independent at a very early age.
"The pup is only going to nurse for three to four weeks and then mom, moms out in the wild will just leave their pups on the beach and our pup will have to learn to eat fish on its own," Stacey says.
But don't worry about our new baby -- her brother Charles survived that early separation and so did big daddy Boone. It's just part of nature for father and son.
"[Charles] is a male and he's going to end up just like Boone here, being over 500 pounds when he's full grown," Stacey says.
It's a growing family in many ways for these North Atlantic seals. Lots of food, early independence and it's all sealed with a kiss.