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Hooded seal births pup on Vlieland
On the morning of Monday 27 March, a hooded seal gave birth to a pup on the beach of Vlieland. The hooded seal is a seal species that occurs naturally around the polar region, so that makes this very exceptional and special. After consultation with Sealcentre Pieterburen and the local seal guard, police and army have closed the area to the public for the time being. However, this is of limited duration and the centre is concerned about long-term conditions for the pup. Therefore, the centre calls for the animals to rest.
On Monday 27 March, seal guard Willem made a very special discovery on the beach of Vlieland: a hooded seal that had recently given birth to a pup on the beach of Vlieland. Never before had this occurred. Hooded seals are native to the polar region and have one of the shortest nursing periods of all seal species: only four days on average. Therefore, the we are so gratefull that the local police and the army closed off the area around the mother and pup for the time being. Hopefully, the two will be able to get through the suckling period undisturbed.
The short suckling period will be followed by a period of fasting for the young animal, during which it will occasionally ingest some fluids through the ice it normally lies on. Then the animal goes hunting in the open waters of the polar region. These conditions are obviously lacking here. The centre is therefore concerned about how the pup will fare afterwards. Either way, it will be important to give the animals rest, and the centre makes the appeal to do so. Moreover, it is working with police and army to find a solution to keep the area closed for longer.
The hooded seal is a seal species listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN red list. They live mainly around Greenland. Every now and then, young animals sometimes end up elsewhere. Several hooded seals have also been taken in the Netherlands, but 3 times in the past 10 years. In 2013, a young hooded seal came into Sealcentre Pieterburen and in 2014 and 2018 at A Seal in Stellendam.
Photo credit: Gerard Koster Joenje, vlielandplaatjes.nl