Video Credit: CEN/@Fokarium
This is the adorable moment the birth of an endangered baby seal is caught on camera.
Marine scientists were on hand to record the moment the grey seal gave birth to its pup at a research station in the village of Hel on the Baltic Sea coast of northern Poland’s North Pomeranian Voivodeship region.
The Baltic Sea grey seal (Halichoerus grypus balticus), a sub-species of grey seal, is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Pictures Credit: CEN/@Fokarium
The seal pup, the first to be born this year at the Hel Marine Station, has been named Skiper (sic) by scientists.
Its mother, Ewa, is one of three adult female seals at the centre and the first to give birth after all three became pregnant.
Staff at the Hel Marine Station, which has become a popular tourist attraction for its seals, say they had been keeping a close eye on Ewa which had been preparing to give birth for days.
A spokesman said: “Skiper is healthy and his mother started to feed him a few hours after giving birth.
“On Thursday, he was examined and measured. He weighs 14 kilogrammes (31 lbs) and is 110 centimetres (3 ft 7 ins) long.
“Skiper is Ewa’s 14th puppy. The father is probably the dominant male in the herd, the 31-year-old Bubas.”
The spokesman said Skiper would be released into the Baltic Sea, fitted with a satellite transmitter, as soon as he is old enough to survive in the wild.
Despite the efforts of scientists, the Baltic Sea grey seal population remains endangered with around 30,000 remaining.
They breed at the mouth of the Vistula River, on Poland’s Baltic Sea coast, but remain rare visitors elsewhere in the region.
The village of Hel made international headlines when a Christian group unsuccessfully called for the name and number of the 666 bus route to ‘Hel’ to be changed.