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This “Ugly Duckling” Ginger Seal Became An Outcast In His Colony For His Unusual Looks
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Animals2 years ago

This “Ugly Duckling” Ginger Seal Became An Outcast In His Colony For His Unusual Looks

This adorable orange ball of fluff that you can see in the photos below was recently spotted in the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia. Apparently, such albino seals as this one are extremely rare. According to the Daily Mail, “experts say the chances of such a partial albino birth are one in 100,000.”

As you can probably tell, this little seal pup definitely stands out from the rest of the colony with its uniquely-colored fur and eyes. Turns out, because of its unusual looks, it has a higher risk of being rejected by the rookery.

More info: Instagram

The scientists working in the area named it The Ugly Duckling

Image credits: Vladimir Burkanov

The pup was found August 11, 2020 in northern fur seal rookery at Tyuleny Island near the east coast of Sakhalin, Russia.

According to the biologist Vladimir Burkanov, who is working in the area, the albino seal pup has not become a total outcast, yet there are signs of it being slightly shunned. “He is in VERY good shape! Little bigger than some other normal pups and VERY active. The only problem he has is wrong color and VERY bad or even NO eye-sight; he behaves as if he’s blind, but it is not fatal; we know that blind seals survive and even breed once they reach adulthood!” Burkanov told Bored Panda. The little pup is currently 3-4 weeks old.

On his Instagram, Vladimir Burkanov posted a short clip capturing the little seal

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Vladimir Burkanov (@bigdaddivladi) on

“‘Ugly Duckling’—albino fur seals are a rare occurrence. They actually look more red than white. This is a clear albino without any pigmentation even in its eyes,” the biologist wrote in the description of the video.

“But it is not getting chased or bitten”

Image credits: Vladimir Burkanov

“[Other seals] notice that there is something WRONG with this “ugly duckling” but they’re more just curious, NOT aggressive,” the biologist told Bored Panda. Currently, the albino seal is being monitored, and in case it is rejected by other seals, wildlife specialists are ready to rescue the mammal and hand it to a dolphinarium.

There have been a few other cases of scientists spotting albino seals

Image credits: Vladimir Burkanov

After his video capturing the little albino seal got a lot of attention, the biologist posted another photo, but this time, it was a different albino seal that was spotted back in 2017 by photographer Sergey Fomin.

“The animal was 2 or 3 years old and physically in good shape, even though it was clear it had poor sight,” Burkanov writes in his post. “The albino is now a mature bull of 5-6 years old. He did not participate in reproduction this season and was seen on the bachelor section of the rookery only. Perhaps this is the first documented case of the survival of a northern fur seal of an abnormal color to adulthood.”

This one was captured by photographer Sergey Fomin back in 2017

Image credits: Sergey Fomin

There was also another case of an albino seal spotted back in 2011, though this one—a ginger fur seal called Nafanya—had to be rescued and was flown to Sochi Dolphinarium on the Black Sea.

Take a look at the video capturing Nafanya

Here’s what people are saying about this seal pup

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Hey pandas, what do you think?
Mishka Katira
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

actually its a sea lion. Seals lack the muscle structure to stand like that, and sea lions have ear flaps and move by their flippers. Seals just have holes in their head, and just slide on their belly. But both are cute all the same!

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Johnny
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"His color may save him from sharks"? I don't think that's true, albino animals typically don't survive long in the wild because their normal skin/coat color isn't just for style, it's also for camouflage. A bright brown seal in the water is just going to stand out more and make him more visible to predators and prey.

E Menendez
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sharks go for dark shapes. This is why humans in wet suits are attacked - because they are dark like a seal. therefore, the color may be an advantage. Sharks only want seal meat. They actually spit out human and most death is incidental due to a poor initial bite location.

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Mishka Katira
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

actually its a sea lion. Seals lack the muscle structure to stand like that, and sea lions have ear flaps and move by their flippers. Seals just have holes in their head, and just slide on their belly. But both are cute all the same!

Load More Replies...
Johnny
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"His color may save him from sharks"? I don't think that's true, albino animals typically don't survive long in the wild because their normal skin/coat color isn't just for style, it's also for camouflage. A bright brown seal in the water is just going to stand out more and make him more visible to predators and prey.

E Menendez
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sharks go for dark shapes. This is why humans in wet suits are attacked - because they are dark like a seal. therefore, the color may be an advantage. Sharks only want seal meat. They actually spit out human and most death is incidental due to a poor initial bite location.

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