The much publicised 'rescue' in mid-Sepember of an apparently albinoid northern fur seal pup from Tyuleni island in the Okhotsk Sea turned out to be not a 'rescue' at all. According to the article accompanying the photos on the webpage of the photographer (Anatoly Stakhov), this pup was taken from the island, along with 19 other pups, by collectors supplying a commercial dolphinarium in the city of Nakhodka near Vladivostok in eastern Russia. The pups were apparently transported to Vladivostok by plane, in a container in the plane's storage compartment. Upon arrival, 12 of the 20 pups were dead, owing to the high temperature in the container. The surviving 8 pups (including the albinoid one) were taken to the dolphinarium. This exercise appears to have been purely commercial in purpose. The pups were taken while their mothers were at sea, feeding to sustain their milk supply, and the 20 mothers would have returned to the island only to find their pups gone. This appears to be the sad truth behind the 'cute' albinoid pup portrayed in the media. September 2011.
Laurel - alone for 18 months in St Andrews Aquarium - scales a steel security barrier in order to join a newly arrived seal in adjacent pool. July 2011. Scroll down the news article to see the video of Laurel's quest to meet her new companion.
Three sea lion pups born at Belfast Zoo June 2009
Australian sea lion pup born at Taronga Zoo April 2009