This week thousands of female seals and seal pups washed up alive on the beaches of Namibia. Conservationists reported that about 7,000 seals had washed ashore in the past few days. Most of the seals on the beaches appeared to be pups that have been born prematurely.
Not the First Tragedy
The tragic event seems to be a natural cycle as it has happened in the past. Back in 1994, Namibia lost nearly a third of its seal population, which comprised of 1.3 million seals.
When news got out about the discovery of the seals on the beaches, conservationists were contacted. The conservationists started rushing to acquire as many tests and samples and counts and surveys to ascertain the event’s cause.
One conservationist, Mr. Naude Dreyer, revealed in a report the main thing they wanted to find out from the tests. He said understanding whether any human factors were contributing to the tragic event was essential to them.
Likely Cause of Death of the Seal Pups
Mr. Naude Dreyer of Ocean conservation Namibia added in his report that the likely cause of the seal’s deaths was lack of food resources. Currently, the world is going through some really strange climatic changes. Because of this, the warm currents that bring in fish are still too far out at the moment. The fish stocks at the Pelican point, for instance, are very low. The area is a popular tourist destination knows for its seals and dolphins.
Most mother seals are weak and don’t have the range to go out into the fishing ground to feed their pups. With the lack of fish, female seals become malnourished, and they have been known to abort their babies when they are starving.
Other reasons that could likely have caused the event were toxins and disease. The seals wash up on beaches trying to keep their pups alive and away from harmful diseases or toxins.
No Way to Help
A high number of seal pups have died so far, and sadly the number of dead mothers seems to be increasing as well. A lot of the mothers are weak and malnourished as well, and saving them is difficult.
Namibia doesn’t have any formal rehabilitation facilities, and when the seals get malnourished and thin, it isn’t easy to bring them back. Additionally, the number of emaciated seals is great, and trying to save them is difficult.
Apart from collecting samples on the beach, conservationists are trying to ascertain the scale of the wash-up. The numbers seem to be more than the said 7,000 as seals seem to keep popping up everywhere on the beaches. Approximately the seals keep popping up on the beaches at a rate of 10 dead seals per kilometer.
Additionally, the conservationists are working with scientists and helping bring entire carcasses to them. The scientists require the whole carcasses to do further sampling and more detailed sampling.
Mr. Naude Dreyer finished his report by saying it was tragic seeing all the seals dead on the beach. A lot of people, including himself, have devoted their lives to protecting the seals. Seeing animals, they have such an intense interest in and love for dying and suffering is heartbreaking.