Today these enigmatic creatures are celebrated as part of the International Day of the Seal, which is celebrated all across the planet. Found in many destinations and living in a multitude of habitats, these captivating animals face many threats and the aim is to raise awareness of the plight of seals.
This special day was established in 1982 in order to educate and raise awareness of the cruelties that seal populations face across the planet. Issues such as over-fishing, pollution and deforestation are all impacting numbers of seals. Related to the walrus and sea lion, seals primarily eat fish and are prey to sharks, orca whales, polar bears and humans, who hunt these creatures for their oil, meat and pelts.
Found along coastal regions, the majority of seal species reside in the waters of the Arctic and Antarctic. Collectively known as Ice seals – ribbon, ringed, spotted and bearded seals – live in the Arctic and their lives entirely depend on the cycle of the ice. Environmental factors causes rapid ice loss, which in turn separates seal pups from their mothers at the crucial milking stage. The melt also affects habitat with parents unable to build protective dens to raise their young. The WWF works to sustainably manage seal populations across the world.
The International Day of the Seal is the perfect opportunity to learn more about these fascinating creatures, how they live and their lifecycle. Maybe adopt a seal from WWF or think about campaigning or fundraising. Educate children and encourage them to get involved too.