Watch as this sweet seal performs a set of crunches in a last-ditch effort to get the perfect beach body before the end of summer.
Cork, an eight-year-old Atlantic Harbor Seal, was filmed perfecting his abs in his enclosure at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut.
The seal was taught how to do a sit-up by staff, who rewarded him with restaurant-quality fish and high fives, throughout his training.
“We taught Cork how to do this by breaking the sit-up into simple steps," said Carey Richard, the aquarium's marine mammals curator.
“We got him to lay on his back to touch his muzzle to a target which made him do a crunch. Everything we do is through positive reinforcement.
“Cork enjoys scratches on the neck and we trained him that a high five is reinforcing.
“I think the best part about this behavior is that he puts his right flipper by his ear so it looks like a real sit-up.
Carey says that the only way to get wild animals like Cork to perform tricks like this is to develop strong, trusting relationships.
This means only training seals like Cork when they want to be trained.
“Even though he can do tricks, he’s not a pet," she added.
“He’s been under human care since he was less than a year old, but we always have to be very respectful with our animals.
“It’s a lot of fun to train him, but we only do enrichment behavior that we think he’ll enjoy.”
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