It is heartbreaking to see ocean animals harmed by the pollution that we humans release into the sea. It is also heartwarming to see other humans doing their best to help stricken animals – even when those animals do not seem to appreciate it! This particular footage is provided by an ocean conservation organization in Namibia.
It shows a team of volunteers monitoring a group of seals on a sandy shore. One of the volunteers has noticed that a seal has some rope tied around its neck. It looks like a necklace but is actually very dangerous for the seal. We learn that it is the type of rope that is used to secure things to buoys at sea.
The seal makes a good attempt to get away but thankfully the humans are just a little faster. One holds the seal securely whilst the other snips away at the rope. Before long, the seal is free but decides to turn around and tries to attack their rescuers! Then, they think better of it and race away to be with their companions.
Seals in Namibia
The exact species of seal is not specified by the video narrator but we know that Cape Cross in Namibia is a recognized breeding habitat for Cape fur seals. These wonderful creatures are actually a type of sea lion and are descended from bears. The Namibian and South African coast is home to around 650,000 fur seals living in 24 colonies.
Cape fur seals get their name from their thick pelt. True seals have a very fine coat of fur but these guys have a thick layer of longer and stronger hair. They are perfectly adapted to efficient swimming – even though the top layer of their coat gets wet, the undercoat stays dry. The thick fur and plenty of fat provide excellent insulation in cold seas.
Seal Behavior and Diet
Even though they spend most of their time in the water, fur seals spend more time on land during the breeding season Fur seals are generally happy by themselves or in small groups. However, during breeding season they gather in larger groups. This is also when males, in particular, can be quite aggressive – including towards humans and we see an example of seal aggression in this vid. The humans do the right thing by leaping out of the way. Males can weigh up to 66 pounds and grow to 79 inches in length and can give a nasty bite!
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