Seal Pups Kept by Aquarium Until the Cuteness Wore Off, Now Face Slaughter

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Update 9/19/12 – Due to public outrage, these two seal pups will now be released to the wild: Care2 Success! Seal Pups Saved from Certain Death Read more:
Please consider helping to right this wrong – in world dominated by shades of gray in decision making, this issue is clearly black and white.

Harp seal pups are protected during the 'white coat phase'. (Creative Commons)

Seal pups face slaughter by an Aquarium – Please sign the Petition

We are writing to urge you and your organizations to take immediate steps to help save the lives of Zak and Mika, two captive 6-month old Harp Seals pups. They were captured from the wild this spring as newborn pups by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO-MPO) for the purpose of providing them to the Aquarium des Iles in Quebec for tourism display.
The Aquarium des Iles were told in advance by DFO-MPO that the seals would NOT be allowed to be released back into the wild after they served the aquarium’s purpose. This purpose was to give the aquarium seasonal display animals to draw tourism. Once their season is over on September 15, by joint agreement, the seals will be executed in the name of ‘research’.

When the pups have molted hundreds of thousands are hunted for their coats each year.

From the National Marine Fisheries Service:
Females give birth to pups near the southern limits of their range from late February to mid-March. Pups nurse on high-fat milk for approximately 12 days, during which they gain about 5 lbs (2.2 kg) per day and develop a thick blubber layer. At birth, harp seals are just under 3 feet (1 m) long, and weigh about 25 lbs (11 kg). Called “whitecoats,” newborns have long, wooly, white fur known as “lanugo”, and undergo a complicated series of “molts” before reaching adult coloration. Harp seal pups are abruptly weaned from their mothers when they weigh approximately 80 lbs (36 kg). Adult females leave their pups on the ice where they remain without eating for approximately 6 weeks. Pups can lose up to half of their body weight before they enter the water and begin feeding on their own.
After pups are weaned and left alone, adult harp seals begin mating. Adult females undergo a period of suspended development known as “delayed implantation” during which embryos do not attach to the uterine wall for three months or more. This allows all females to give birth during the limited period of time when pack ice is available.
During breeding in February and March, and when molting in late spring, harp seals aggregate in large numbers of up to several thousand seals on the pack ice. During extensive seasonal migrations, large groups may feed and travel together.
Harp seals are prey for polar bears, killer whales, and sharks.

One of their top predators is man – senseless, brutal slaughter for the sake of vanity.

In 2003, the three-year quota granted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was increased to 975,000, with a maximum of 350,000 in any two consecutive years.

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