INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE SEAL
Every year on March 22nd, the International Day of the Seal promotes the conservation of seals worldwide. It’s also a day to celebrate this amazing marine mammal.
A seal is a type of animal called a pinniped, which is Latin for “fin-footed.” Other pinnipeds include the walrus and sea lion. What makes seals different than other pinnipeds is that they don’t really use their flippers to walk. When on land, they usually slide around on their bellies. In the water, their flippers help them swim really fast. Seals are also much quieter and smaller than their sea lion and walrus cousins.
Here are some other fun facts about seals:
- A group of seals is called a herd or a raft.
- It’s not uncommon for a herd to consist of 1,500 seals.
- There are 33 species of seals.
- The layer of fat under a seal’s skin is called blubber, which helps keep them warm in cold water.
- Their whiskers help them detect prey in murky water.
- Their lifespan ranges from 25 to 30 years.
- Female seals are called cows, and their babies are called pups.
- Smaller seals weigh 100 pounds, while the largest seals weigh over 7,000 pounds.
Seals can be found throughout the world. This marine mammal lives in the Northern Pacific ocean between Asia and North America. Some seals live off the coasts of South America, Antarctica, Africa, and Australia.
Throughout the ages, men have hunted seals for their meat, blubber, and fur coats. Because of this, some species of seals are endangered. The four most endangered species of seals include Saimaa ringed seals of
Finland, Ungava seals of Quebec, Mediterranean monk seals, and Hawaiian monk seals.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayOfTheSeal
On this day, many zoos, aquariums, and conservation organizations host special events to celebrate the seal. To participate:
- Go to a seal exhibit at your local zoo.
- Learn about the different species of seals.
- Watch a documentary on seals, such as “The Hidden Seals of Siberia” or “Playground of Seals.”
- Donate to the Seal Conservation Society.
Share a picture or video of seals on social media with #InternationalDayOfTheSeal.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE SEAL HISTORY
In 1982, the U.S. Congress declared an International Day of the Seal. Their goal was to draw attention to the cruelty of seal hunts and help prevent this animal’s extinction.