Each one of them has its own story, but they are united by being orphans. 12 species are now being brought up in the center – 2 Baltic ringed seals and 10 grey sea-dogs. Alexander Burenin with more.
Only 2 days ago they were on the brink of death, but passers-by in the seaside area noticed them and informed the rehab center. Today, under the watchful eye of zoologists, they are gathering weight and strength. They haven’t ever seen so many visitors, but our fears didn’t come true – the sea-dogs were not scared of journalists. On the contrary, they quickly got used to the noise and camera lights - even tried to pose and shout something in front of our cameras.
Although, only one of those could be considered fully healthy. It already received a ticket to the swimming pool, but his training is strictly regulated. The main thing is to get used to the water – it hasn’t swam in the Gulf since birth. Its parents left it on ice, and hummock movement landed it on the shore.
A healthy baby sea-dog won’t share its dinner and lunch with a friend. It has a healthy appetite - 400 grams of herring 4 times a day. The rest are only dreaming about fish. Their food rations consist of special mix, which serves more as a medication, rather than a delicacy. That’s why one has to catch them in order to feed them. The sea-dogs hide under towels and scream even louder, but once they find themselves in their keepers’ hands, they start behaving well.
Today there are more than 10 sea-dogs and 5 seals in the center. This year – due to untypically warm winter – it expects more residents than ever
Vitaliy Burov, head of Rosprirodnadzor department: “The center can accommodate up to 50 sea-dogs, but that would something close to a disaster. We have more work than last year”
Zoologists, however, say they will take as many animals as needed. The center’s capabilities are expanding every year.
Alexander Burenin, reporter: “In few weeks’ time the sea-dogs will pass through rehab period and will finally receive names. Employees of the center have a tradition of not naming their pets until their lives are threatened. Usually, they are called after a place where they were found. This one, for instance, was found in the Chernaya Lakhta area. In such case, names of islands in the Gulf of Finland are usually used”