Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This is the touching moment kindhearted fishermen try to rescue a whimpering baby seal who had lost its mother.
The incident took place on Russia’s Sakhalin island, in the Pacific Ocean north of Japan when the group of fishermen found the baby seal alone on the ice.
In the video, the seal can be seen whimpering on the snow before one of the fishermen goes to comfort.
The fishermen then pull it across the snow in a sledge, taking the animal to a road where they were waiting for a local animal rescue service.
One of the unnamed fishermen told reporters: “We came to fish, it was dark outside when we heard a cry. First we thought it was a baby and started to look for it yet soon we noticed a newborn baby seal all alone. It was most probably just a few days old as it was still wet behind the ears.
“We waited a bit for the seal’s mum to come but after a few hours we decided to call the rescuers as she didn’t appear.”
Specialists from the Prigorodnoe animal shelter reportedly took the baby seal, warmed it up and fed it.
The fishermen said they were told by the shelter the seal was feeling well and active, however, some local sources reported the animal had died.
In a statement by local environmental group Zeleny Sakhalin (Green Sakhalin) fund they criticised the Prigorodnoe shelter staff for acting incorrectly, saying that if the baby seal was dead then it was the shelter that was to blame.
The fund said: “The animal was not supposed to be warmed up or fed or even touched. They needed to stay away from it and watch it as most probably the animal’s mother would appear”.
They gave some instructions for the public if they find a lone baby seal: “You should never feed or warm this animal up, don’t even touch it. You have to stay apart by a minimum of 200 feet so as not scare the mother if she appears.”
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