Mizore, a ringed seal born in April, makes his first public appearance at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in Osaka on Aug. 18. The pup looked lifeless when he was born, showing signs of hypothermia and hypoglycemia, but was saved by aquarium staff. (Video by Chifumi Shinya)

OSAKA--A ringed seal pup near death after its birth earlier this year and saved by aquarium staff here is now thriving and wowed visitors with his public debut on Aug. 18.

Tsubaki Nakajima, 8, who visited Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in Osaka’s Minato Ward with her grandfather on the day, was excited to see the male pup’s first public appearance.

“He's round and tiny and so pretty,” she said.

Getting into a large water tank for the first time appeared to be a daunting task for the pup, named Mizore, who hesitated a while. Though it took about 10 minutes, he eventually took the plunge, albeit while looking a bit nervous.

Currently, Mizore weighs about 20 kilograms and is about 75 centimeters long.

The aquarium in July invited the public to vote to pick a name for him from five options--Mizore, Kiri, Hare, Harusame and Hyo.

Of the approximately 26,000 votes cast, about 40 percent chose Mizore.

Mizore was born on April 1 to the aquarium’s popular female seal Arare and her mate, Moya.

But Mizore weighed only 2.44 kilograms at birth, smaller than the breeding staff expected, and looked lifeless, showing signs of hypothermia and hypoglycemia.

Veterinarians immediately started trying to save the pup, administrating intravenous drips and other treatment.

About 20 aquarium staff in rotation observed the pup for 24-hour periods, nursing him with a bottle, the first time the staff had attempted to artificially raise a ringed seal by bottle-feeding.

In a month or so, the pup recovered completely and his fur, originally white, changed to brown in May.

Since being weaned from bottle-feeding, he has begun eating fish. He has also become curious about his surroundings and started pawing a ball.