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Crying baby seal ‘rescued’ by fishermen dies as ecologists beg to never touch young pups

By The Siberian Times reporter
08 February 2020

What humans see as care is deadly, the most people can do is to observe seals from a safe distance.

'It was a maximum of one day old, I even had to cut its umbilical cord off. We were protecting it for two days, hoping for the mother to come back'. Picture: Alexander Sbitnev

A newborn seal was heard ‘crying like a baby’ by several fishermen who were out on ice next to Vostochniy village in the Russian Far East on 1 February. 

The three men checked around for its mother, and then did what they thought was right by feeding and covering it. 

‘It was a maximum of one day old, I even had to cut its umbilical cord off. We were protecting it for two days, hoping for the mother to come back. We even named it Valera.

'When we realised that the mother was nowhere near, and that the seal needed help we called animal right shelter volunteers’, explained a fisherman called Alexander Sbitnev. 

Crying baby seal ‘rescued’ by fishermen dies as ecologists beg to never touch young pups


Crying baby seal ‘rescued’ by fishermen dies as ecologists beg to never touch young pups
The fishermen who found the seal said they were very upset by what happened to the animal as they believed they had done everything according to ecologists’ instructions. Pictures: Alexander Sbitnev


The seal pup died several hours after the volunteers got to it despite their immediate attempts to hydrate it. 

It lost more than 50 per cent of its body mass and had very few chances to survive after spending this long with the fishermen.

‘When the volunteers came they found the seal inside a plastic bath that fishermen used for catch. We have said multiple times that it is strictly prohibited to touch wild animals. They can’t be fed or given water, they mustn’t be touched’, said ecologist Alexander Ivanov from Green Sakhalin foundation. 

The fishermen who found the seal said they were very upset by what happened to the animal as they believed they had done everything according to ecologists’ instructions. 

‘They told us to be gently and careful with it, and so we did. We feel like we took so much care of it, and now it’s us who is blamed for the pup’s death. It hurts deeply to hear it.’ 

'CRYING' NEWBORN SEAL WAS FOUND BY ANGLERS AT THE ISLAND OF SAKHALIN IN THE FAR EAST OF RUSSIA

Comments (2)

It may have happened this way: The mother seal had just given birth and were frightened about coming people...The umbilical cord is the first thing what animal mother cut after birth; but she had no time. The pups are living in snow and nobody can touch them ...otherwise is sure that the mother seal abandon the pup. The faith of this pup is sad.
Leiah Sariell, Lapland Finland
16/02/2020 00:49
1
0
Heartbreaking story. However I do not believe that these fishermen should be punished, they were genuinly trying to help and were really ignorant to the fact that sometimes human intervention can be deadly rather than life saving.

Nature can be extremely cruel at times; the mother might have abandoned it due to it being ill or if it had been tampered with by human hand. Poor Baby Valera RIP Sweetheart...
Anonymous, Switzerland
09/02/2020 22:47
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0
1

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