PREDATORS AND OTHER DANGERS TO SEALS

Every animal in the world faces some danger, and even some seals have natural wild predators and other dangers that they have to aware of. It is true that due to the geographical location of various seal colonies few predators exist to harm them. And also, some seals are so big that nothing troubles them. However, there are land and sea animals that prey on some seal species including the Great White Shark and the Polar Bear. Killer Whales are another predator of certain types of seals, but this is restricted due to locality.

Young Pups

Young Pups
Young Pups

Seal pups are the most vulnerable due to their size, and while they are small there are several other predators that will seek them out. Predators such as Killer Whales do not chew their food, they swallow it whole. Therefore, a small young pup is far easier to eat than a fully grown adult. However, sharks in particular are able to bite off chunks of adult seals and digest them bit by bit. Other large marine animals will attack seals if the occasion arises, that is why seals prefer to stay together in packs. If pups go into the water, then their parents often swim alongside to protect them.

Land Animals

Land Animals
Land Animals

There are certain land animals that if given the chance will attack seals. The Polar Bear for instance will actively hunt down seals, especially to feed the young. Polar Bears and other land predators tend to look for a single seal and rarely will attack a group. But just like any animal that is hungry, they will attack a group if needs must. Even the Arctic Wolf has been known to hunt for seals. In the Arctic region food is hard to come by and so these creatures must feed on what they can. If a seal gets on to the ice, then it cannot move at speed and therefore a wolf can easily outrun it before it has a chance to get back into the water and safety.

Humans

All of the above is part of nature’s magical balancing act, where larger predators prey on smaller animals. It is as it always has been, and the equilibrium is consistent as nature intended. The greatest risk to seals is something that nature did not predict and that is mankind. Humans are by far the greatest risk to seals, either by hunting them down or by killing them with pollution and climate change. In Canada for example there are absolutely no limits how many seals can be caught and killed. And when trawlers throw their nets into the water to catch fish not only are they depriving the food seals eat but the nets also trap and kill the seals. The continual destruction of the environment that seals live in is the most devastating factor. The seas are contaminated with toxins and their land is either melting away or grabbed by humans for habitat.

The world has seen the danger that our pollution is causing, and there are many organizations that are working to educate the public about the seal situation. While natural predators will always exist as part of life’s balance, we can work to eliminate the human dangers.