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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fur Seal in Taiji via Sayaka Nakamura

From NHK Wakayama News:
A fur seal in Taiji fishing port

A fur seal, 1m long, was found wondering around in Taiji fishing port. The locals are watching the cute animal swiming in the port.

The seal was found swiming near Taiji fishing port at 2pm 18th Jan by a local. Testuo Kirihata, the vice director of the Taiji Whale Museum, was contacted, and he confirmed that it was a fur seal, not a sea lion which has a similar shape, but different forefoot, the length of ear & the lie of hair. As the seal was joyfully swimming around the fishing boats moored in the port, the nearby locals who heard the news gathered and watched the seal cheering when the seal surfaced for breathing.

One of the children who watched the seal swimming says, "I've never seen a seal in this place. This is very rare, so I'm happy." The fur seal usually lives in the sea of Okhotsk or the Bering Sea. "The seal might have left the pod during the southward trip in winter as they seek refuge from coldness & follow their food. I hope the spectators will watch the seal warmly (and do not diturb)."

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