Rare albino ginger seal may need a new home as it’s been rejected by the herd

Different colouring of this extreme makes the pup at far greater risk from predators

Albino animals occur amongst most different species of animal. Albino animals are almost always far lighter white compared to the standard colour for their species. Generally this is caused by some sort of failure in the pigmentation. This young seal is   living in the Siberian Sea of Okhotsk .

Another cause of strange colorations is melanism, this is more usually the cause for black leopards and creatures like this. In places where this is helpful – for instance the rainforests of Malaysia this can lead to a large portion of the population ending up the different colour, in Malaysia around half of the leopards are black because this is such a big advantage in the dark rainforest.

However in many places the albino coloration is not an advantage. Here seals of the usually black and blend well with the rocks they lie on, so a ginger seal would show up dramatically.

The odds of the ginger seal around 1 in 100,000, so very rare. There are unfortunately other genetic qualities that come with albinism one of which is a generally poor eyesight. As a result of this few animals with unusual colourings survive to adulthood. Predators are too easily seen by their prey, and prey easily picked out. 

Indeed much of the colourings of herd animals, are they are to make it harder to tell where one ends and the next begins – particularly true with zebras, it is hard for a separate zebras to be picked out by a pride of lions and therefore when mistakes happen generally all the zebras get away.

As a result of all this it is unlikely that this ginger seal will survive to adulthood. This may mean that it is captured and put in the zoo, but we’ll see.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See Animals Wild