Mobile photo by Roman Pokrovski
Gray seal Hallhüljes Halichoerus grypus
Yesterday a seal pup was photographed in Suurupi (on the coast, NW of Tallinn). There was much ridged ice around; let us hope that the mother was somewhere nearby because the pup headed in between the ice banks. If the mother is out of sight for long cries for help will be pretty loud.
A new-born pup spends only three weeks with its mother. At birth the little gray seal weighs around ten kilos, with the milk from the mother – containing 58% fat – the tiny creature puts on a couple of kilos per day. It will have to start its independent life in “baby furs“, at a length of 70-80 cm, and weighing almost fifty kilos. It will manage for at least two weeks or longer on the fat reserves stored from the mother’s milk, by then catching fish as well as other seal skills must have been learnt ...
Nature has arranged things so that the heat period of the females starts when the suckling ends. In eleven months the next generation of gray seals will be born.