A rare albino seal has been sighted in the Sea of Okhotsk in Siberia, which is, owing to its oddity, at risk of getting outcast by its community. Covered in ginger fur and possessing blue eyes, the poor animal is easily distinguishable from the lot.
According to experts, the chance of seals of such kind being born is one in a lakh. Researchers have named it “Ugly Duckling”. The images and video of the pup were shared by a Russian marine biologist named Vladimir Burkanov.
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"Гадкий утенок" - изредка у котиков рождаются альбиносы. Но в действительности они больше выглядят рыжим! Хотя тёмный пигмент отсутствует даже на радужный оболочке глаз. "Ugly duck" - albino fur seal is rare event. They more looks red than white. This is a clear albino without any pigmentation even in eyes.
The animal lacks pigmentation that gives the black colour to seals, due to which the pup appears in stark contrast with the others. While the seal has become very popular among humans on the internet, it is quite lonely among its peers. Researchers have expressed fear that the pup could be rejected by others in the community.
Burkanov has said that the seal does look healthy now, but he is not being received well by others which can be a cause for concern. According to him, he has not been bitten or chased so far. If the seal continues to face difficulty in settling there, wildlife specialists might have to rescue it and send it under care of a dolphinarium.
Albino seals are known to have very poor eyesight. The chances of them growing up and reproduce are extremely low. This is the reason why they are so rare. A decade ago, a similar seal was born on the same island. It was reportedly not accepted by its tribe. It could have died if it had been left out there alone.
Thankfully, it was rescued by the wildlife specialists and sent to an aquarium on the black sea coast of Russia. It had become very popular among visitors offline and online. A similar story could play out again. But we hope the new albino pup finds friends and happiness.