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Northern fur seal, Ziggy Star can't survive in the wild. Mystic Aquarium has stepped up to give her a permanent home and the care she needs.
Megan Brown
Mystic, Connecticut
United States
2 Team Members

Why We Need Your Help

Northern fur seal, Ziggy Star suffers from a serious neurologic condition called cerebral demyelination that affects her ability to process images correctly and coordinate her movements. She can't survive in the wild and needs human care for the rest of her life.

Mystic Aquarium working with The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA has stepped up to provide a home to Ziggy Star.  Her story begins when she was found in April last year, collapsed on a beach on the Mendocino coast, severely emaciated and barely alive. She was rescued and brought to the Center's hospital where she was diagnosed with a serious neurologic condition. After extensive testing it was determined that her condition would ultimately impact her ability to survive in the wild.

Her condition made it difficult to place Ziggy Star, but it became critical that the Center find her a home. Mystic Aquarium looked for ways to help give Ziggy a permanent home so she could live in a social setting with other fur seals and benefit from the care she requires.  Ziggy Star underwent several months of care at The Marine Mammal Center and was cleared to join Mystic Aquarium's collection. 

Mystic Aquarium has a long history of working with northern fur seals, in fact, they are considered to be a leader in breeding and caring for this particular species.  Mystic Aquarium had received one of their first northern fur seals, Delta Joy from The Marine Mammal Center many years ago.

Laurie Macha, Curator of Marine Mammals and Birds, will travel to CA several days before Ziggy Star’s journey to Mystic.  She will spend time getting to know Ziggy Star and Shelbi, her primary caretaker at The Marine Mammal Center.  During this period Ziggy Star will come to know and bond with Laurie.  According to Laurie, this is critical in order to make Ziggy’s transition from the center to Mystic Aquarium as smooth as possible. Ziggy Star will make the journey from California to Connecticut escorted by both Mystic Aquarium’s, Dr. Ally McNaughton and Laurie

Where Your Money Goes

Flying a fur seal across the country is no small task!  Here is a summary of how much it will cost just to get Ziggy Star to Mystic, CT.

Ziggy’s Flight from CA to CT $6,300
Travel housing for Ziggy $1,500
Flights for our Animal Care staff  $1,000
Food and lodging in California $1,500
Ground transportation to/from airports for Ziggy     $500
Transport supplies $150

Once Ziggy is here, she will receive the highest level of round-the-clock care. It costs around $4,000 a month to care for an animal like Ziggy Star, and she will be one of 22 marine mammals housed at Mystic Aquarium.

Mystic Aquarium is one of the nation’s most revered aquariums and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which means that we adhere to the highest standards of animal care, safety, guest services, conservation, education and research.

With a collection of nearly 5,000 animals and an extensive marine mammal collection, we are the largest aquarium in New England.  Mystic Aquarium is unique in its focus on biological research, its connection with deep-sea exploration through the Ocean Exploration Center, and its international science education through the world renowned JASON Learning programs.

Without the care of our trained staff, animals like Ziggy Star would not have a chance of survival.  That is why we need your help now.

Mystic Aquarium has the trained and caring staff ready and waiting to take Ziggy in and make her part of our family.

Other Ways You Can Help

Your donation will directly support the transportation and care of Ziggy Star as well as contribute to the care of other animals like her.

In addition to donations, we need your help to spread the word!  Please share this page with all of your friends and family. Help bring Ziggy home!!

Photos and video courtesy of:

Ingrid Overgard © The Marine Mammal Center and © The Marine Mammal Center

Find This Campaign On
raised by 276 people in 1 month
90% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 22, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    An exuberant Ziggy thank you!

    For your donation, you will receive a huge thank you from Ziggy and the animal care team at Mystic Aquarium.

    68 out of 2500 claimed
  • $25USD
    A fur seal high five

    Get a virtual high five from a Northern fur seal along with enormous thanks from the animals and staff at Mystic Aquarium.

    51 out of 2500 claimed
  • $50USD
    Personal thanks certificate

    We will email you a print-quality, personalized PDF certificate thank you for helping to bring Ziggy Star home to Mystic Aquarium.

    21 out of 1000 claimed
  • $75USD
    Frame-ready Ziggy photo

    We will send you a beautiful photo of Ziggy Star, perfect for your favorite frame. We will also include a personalized thank you certificate.

    44 out of 250 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $1,000USD
    VIP tour of Mystic Aquarium

    Meet the team caring for Ziggy Star and our other marine mammals and get a behind-the-scenes look at her new home.

    1 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
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