We, humans, tend to like rare things, that’s the reason diamonds and Ferraris are so expensive. Sadly (at least in this case), the same can’t be said about nature. This rare little ginger seal pup is at risk of being shunned from his colony just because of his unusual coloring.
The rare seal was first spotted by a team of biologists in the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia’s far east. The cute little sea mammal has pink flippers, blue eyes, and a stunning ginger coat. According to experts, the chances of a seal being born partially albino like this one are 1 in 10,000(!).
While it’s safe to assume that most of us find the little seal adorable, his peers, sadly, don’t share the same view. Scientists who follow the seal closely start seeing early signs of rejection from other seals in his colony on Tyunleny Island. This led them to nickname the little pup The Ugly Duckling (which is misleading if you ask me, I’m pretty sure that he’s the prettiest seal I’ve ever seen).
Vladimir Burkanov, one of the biologists on the island, recently told The Daily Mail: “This pup looks well fed and was very active, so its mother clearly gave it plenty of milk.” Having said that, Burkanov still believes that “something is not quite right.” He pointed out the fact that “Other seals don’t pay too much attention to it in a somewhat worrying manner, so something is not quite right with it.” But quickly reassured us and said: “But it is not getting chased or bitten.”
This isn’t the first documented case of a partially albino northern seal. Six years ago, another seal with a similar appearance was born on Bearing Island but was sadly shunned from his colony. He was since transferred and now lives in captivity in the Sochi Dolphinarium, where he’s being looked after by scientists.
According to Dr. Burkano, there’s still hope for our little ginger-furred seal pup. He said: “Perhaps, this is the first documented case of the survival of a northern fur seal of an abnormal colour to adulthood.” While we all hope that this will be the case for the adorable and rare pup, there’s still very little hope that he’ll ever successfully breed. If the ginger seal pup will indeed end up being shunned by his peers, scientists will have no choice but to evacuate him to be raised in captivity.
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