A wounded Arctic seal pup has been seen swimming in Scottish waters.
A newborn ringed seal has been discovered in Scottish seas, far from his home in the frigid Arctic. The seal pup was apparently injured when he was rescued, but due to a Scottish animal protection organization, he is currently making a sluggish recovery.
Ringed seals, unlike common seals, can only be found in the coldest parts of the northern hemisphere. The species receives its name from the bright, ringed pattern over their backs, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries.
Ringed seals grow to be four to four-and-a-half feet long and weigh between 110 and 150 pounds when fully mature. They live in subzero temperatures all year and “create and maintain their own breathing holes through the ice” with their keen claws.
Although ringed seals are a common species, their populations are concentrated in areas with cold enough temperatures. They are rarely seen in locations with warmer waters because to their aversion to the cold.
The age of this seal pup discovered in Aberdeen, Scotland, is estimated to be between six and eight weeks. According to BBC News, he suffered abrasions on his back and appeared lethargic at the time of his rescue.
The pup was initially misidentified as a common seal, but it was quickly identified as a ringed seal, a species that is rarely seen in the area. According to The Scotsman, there have been less than thirty ringed seal sightings in the United Kingdom in the last hundred years.
The seal was discovered in Aberdeen harbor by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, but was quickly taken in by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA). He was given the name “Hispi” there.
According to The Scotsman, “We were really startled to have a ringed seal arrive in our care because they are usually in polar waters and sometimes venture as far south as Greenland or Norway, so it’s highly unusual that he was found in the Aberdeen area.”
She explained that Hispi’s mother had most likely gone to the area and given birth to him nearby according to his young age. “We believe his mother was looking for food, which led her to the north of. This is a condensed version of the information.