Rare ginger seal pup shunned by its colony may need to be rescued

An extremely rare seal pup has been recently spotted on the Tyuleny Island, Russia. The unusual animal was born with a ginger fur coat – a special condition that occurs one in 100,000 animals. Unfortunately, the unique coloring is rather a burden for the seal pup as it faces rejection from the rest of the colony.

Image credits Vladimir Burkanov

Even though it looks actually pretty cute, the ginger seal pup was nicknamed ‘The Ugly Duckling’ by the man who first spotted it – the marine biologist Vladimir Burkanov. The little one who’s around one-month old had blue eyes and a very unique ginger fur coat. That doesn’t make it vulnerable only in front of the predators, but it is also outcasted by the rest of the group.

Image credits Vladimir Burkanov

Even he may suffer of poor eyesight, the pup looks well fed so far. “This pup looks well fed and was very active, so its mother clearly gave it plenty of milk,” Dr. Burkanov said. “Other seals don’t pay too much attention to it in a somewhat worrying manner, so something is not quite right with it.”

Image credits Vladimir Burkanov

The rare seal pup is being close monitored by the biologists and in case it is facing a total rejection by the rest of the colony, they’re considering the option of rescuing it.

There is hope though as a similar looking seal pup has been discovered years ago on Bering Island. Initially rejected by the group, that one had eventually managed to survive and now it is around six-year-old. See the picture bellow:


View this post on Instagram


Альбинос-хромист – продолжение: Фотография котика альбиноса, или более правильно будет сказать – хромиста, вызвала интерес у и вопросы у посетителей. Я помню осенью 2017 года на лежбище Северо-Западном острова Беринга мой бывший студент, а теперь коллега, работающий на Командорских островах, Сергей Фомин фотографировал самца-холостяка такой же необычной окраски. Он был хорошо упитан, хотя имел явные проблемы со зрением. Я обратился к нему за уточнением возраста того альбиноса, и Сергей сообщил мне, что видел и снял этого же самца в этом году! И на том же самом месте Северо-Западного лежбища, где он его фотографировал осенью 2017 года. Теперь он уже секач, достиг половой зрелости и ему 5-6 лет. Но находился на нерепродуктивной части лежбища. Т.е. в размножение в этом сезоне не вступал. Пожалуй, это первый документально зафиксированный случай дожития котика аномальной окраски до половозрелого возраста. Albino fur seal – continued: A photo of an albino (partial albino or chromist) fur seal pup aroused the interest of visitors to my page. I tried to find information on the age of similar unusual color of young fur seal, my former student, and now a colleague Sergey Fomin photographed at the Severo-Zapadnoe rookery on the Bering Island in fall 2017. The animal was 2 or 3 years old and physically in good shape, even it was clear it had poor sight. I turned to him to clarify the age of that albino, and Sergeн replayed me that he had seen and photographed the same male this summer again! In the exact location of the Severo-Zapadnoe rookery, where he photographed the animal in the fall of 2017. The albino is now matured bull 5-6 years old. He did not participate in reproduction this season and was seen on the bachelor section of the rookery only. Perhaps, this is the first documented case of the survival of a northern fur seal of an abnormal color to adulthood.

A post shared by Vladimir Burkanov (@bigdaddivladi) on

(Credits Mailonline)

Spread the love