In that black and white photograph is a Brown fur seal cub caught in a net. The animal is staring directly at the camera. Indeed it has a sad expression on its face. Sadly this is the reality in our seashore and oceans with marine wildlife.
That seal belongs to a large seal species in South Africa and Australia. The two subspecies of the Brown fur seal are the Cape fur seal and the Australian seal.
The females pick their mates according to the size of a male territory. The territories of the males they determine through vocalizations, sparring, and even combat. During the mating season, they will not eat food until it is over. After their gestation period is over (12 months), only one seal pup is born.
Heavy metals, pesticides, and noise disturbance pollute their habitat. There are also many more threats to their population. More risks are oil spills, fishing nets, plastic, and fishing lines. These threats are killing and injuring thousands of seals every year. Indeed also poaching is a significant threat. Fishers will shoot them because they see them as competitors who are taking their fish.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total number of brown fur seals is 2,120,000 individuals, being 2,000,000 Cape fur seals and 120,000 Australian fur seals. Overall, the brown fur seal population numbers are increasing today, and this species is classified as least concern.
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