A Swedish seal pup was the subject of a minor mystery on Sunday morning. Henrik Pederson, an Uppsala, Sweden police inspector, said that he was startled to get a call reporting a baby seal by the side of a cold, snowy road near a forest. “I thought he was joking,” the officer said.
Seals aren’t a forest species, folks. And police officers aren’t normally in the business of saving baby seals.
Swedish newspaper Arbetarbladet reported that the police asked two hunters, Mikael Larsson and Robert Sanderfors, to investigate. Sure enough, they found a one to two month old baby seal just as advertised, young enough that it still had some of the white left in its coat.
The mysterious Swedish seal pup wasn’t that enthusiastic about being rescued. The animal reportedly bit and struggled with the men before they were able to crate it and transport it the six kilometers to the sea.
The pup may have been saved just in time. “A skier who followed the tracks could see that it had a curious fox behind him,” Larsson told Arbetarbladet.
Whether it was chased by a fox or carried there by a miscreant is a mystery that might now never be solved. But it’s clear that not everyone loves seals as much as these concerned men.
Last last year, a Swedish fishermen’s group proposed a plan to hunt 40,000 seals, which they said have become so numerous that they destroy nets in order to feast on the fish trapped there.
And there are always those kooks who dislike seals for no known reason. A few days ago, a beach in San Diego had to be closed at night after cameras revealed that late-night visitors were kicking and punching the seals there. In February, three Canadian teens were arrested for the illegal and apparently pointless slaughter of 50 seals in Prince Edward Island.
Larsson said he planned to check back on the beach where they released the Swedish seal pup, to make sure that it stays safe.
[harbor seal pup photo courtesy Brent Danley and Flickr]