2012 got off to a rocky start for about 60 seals, battered by storms in the U.K. After enduring rough weather, in which winds reached up to 100 miles per hour, these pups were rescued by the Royal Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for some R&R before they are released back into the wild this Spring. Despite the recent trauma, these grey seals still have a smooch or two for the camera, and we're happy to take in the cuteness!
Iceland is home to a variety of animals that you don't see every day: puffins, reindeer, tiny horses, and seals. If you ever make it to breathtakingly beautiful Jökulsárlón, the island's largest glacial lagoon, head to the southern side of the water. There, a colony of a few dozen seals will inquisitively observe your every move. These guys (and ladies) came within 15 feet of the shore, only to dive underwater as soon as they knew I was on to them. Aside from the occasional sound of ice breaking apart, it was just me and the barking seals — a total one-with-nature morning. Check them out to see why I'm still laughing over their little faces.
Is there anything sweeter than the faces of these adorable little seals? I think not! New Zealand fur seals are the most common seals in New Zealand waters. These shots were snapped at Otago Peninsula near Dunedin, New Zealand. I'd love to hang out on this beach with these little guys. Click on for more cuteness and fun fur seal facts.
Two happy seals were recently welcomed back to their natural habitat. As you can see, the seals were very excited to be home, but paused for a quick smooch before diving in. The happy couple calls Laguna Beach home.
Somewhere in that murky water is the rest of Robin. The two-week-old babe was found orphaned on Pellworm Island (north of Germany) and is being raised at the nearby Friedrichskoog Seal Breeding Station until she can be returned to the North Sea in the Spring. Since Gray Seals are typically born between December and February, here's hoping we see more lil ones before the Winter season's done!
Nigel Barker is far from done with his seal-saving mission. In more playful news, the America's Next Top Model judge is bringing his talents to a LOLseals Photo Caption Contest — the Humane Society provides photos of lil baby harp seals, you create a caption, and then Nigel picks his fave to win a whole bunch of Project Seals gear! Get some inspiration from the lolspeak glossary to create a LOLcaption by March 21 — I couldn't resist including a gallery of their eight adoro piccys to choose from when you read more
With the fashion industry taking the Cool vs. Cruel anti-fur movement to heart, it seems that we're finally making some headway on the realization that cruelty for the sake of couture isn't the best idea. Plus, when celebs like Hayden Panettiere make headlines for their causes – like her involvement in Save The Whales, Again! – it puts a blazing spotlight on issues that are important to our world.
Just like Hayden, Nigel Barker, one of Tyra's industry judges on Americas Next Top Model, is taking a stand against March's annual commercial seal hunt (where each year hundreds of thousands of baby seals are hunted and killed for their fur). Traveling to eastern Canada this week, Nigel will be scoping out the baby seals before the hunt begins :
“It is my hope that by witnessing these baby seals in their natural environment we can draw attention to the inhumane slaughter that will occur in a few short weeks,” said Barker. “Every year hundreds of thousands of baby seals are clubbed and shot to death for their fur. Their carcasses are discarded like waste and left on the ice. It is my strong opinion that this is bigger than making a fashion statement. This is about making a life statement. If we call ourselves human we must act humanely.”
If that's not enough, Nigel will be returning to the ice flows of eastern Canada to film and witness the seal hunt in progress. Ultimately, Nigel and The Humane Society hope that the seal fur trade will be banned in Europe, where a majority of the fur is shipped and sold. To check out a video of Nigel and HSUS President Wayne Pacelle speaking out against the fur trade, just read more
Starting today, Save the Bay Narragansett offers hour-long Seal Watch Tours ($20) departing from Bowen's Ferry Landing in Newport, RI. Seeing seals is much easier with ship-provided binoculars, and local species include Harbor, Gray, Harp, and Hooded Seals. The best time to spot them is when low tide falls in the middle of the day because that's when they stop feeding and "haul-out" onto their resting spots!
Educators provide commentary on the Bay's migratory seals while the boat heads to the popular haul-out near Rose Island. Tours run on weekends (and school holiday weeks) from November 1 through April 30, with departure times based on tides and weather.