Live seal cam returns to mesmerise Finnish viewers

Scientists estimated that around 700 seals were hit by bird flu, but they now believe as many as 3,000 animals could have been killed by the bug. (iStock)
The World Wildlife Fund’s “Norppalive” seal cam is back. In this picture, a seal swims in the water. (iStock)
If the Twitterverse is to be believed, the sight of a seal lolling on a waterside rock can be quite hypnotic, with some pondering the kind of peace that can come from simply staring at a rock. However the highlight of the opening day of WWF’s Norppalive video stream was of course the appearance of the headline act.

“An hour and a half after the start of Norppalive the first seal swam past the camera. We have not yet been able to identify it because we couldn’t see the markings on the coat,” said WWF communications specialist Joonas Fritze.

(See World Wildlife Finland’s Norppalive Youtube video below)

Since 2016

A live camera set up in spring 2016 introduced nature lovers to a Saimaa ringed seal duo – Siiri and Pullervo – who received their names from viewers. In 2017, however, Pullervo starred in the live camera show all alone.

Between 2016 and 2017, the Norppalive video stream was viewed five million times. The aim of the live cam is to build awareness of a highly endangered species and to provide a window into its everyday life in Saimaa in southeast Finland.

“It is exciting to anticipate when a seal will appear. Pullervo was seen near the camera at least yesterday. It’s not possible to predict the movements of the Saimaa seal with any certainty. So we cannot guarantee that it or any of its mates will immediately be visible on camera,” Fritze said.

Viewing the seals is easiest during the spring, when the animals climb onto the rocks to shed their winter pelts. Once they moult however, they prefer to spend their time under water, reducing the chances of viewing the seals in their natural habitat.

Watch the Norppalive video stream here.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Canada listed among threatened World Heritage Sites, Radio Canada International

Finland: Squirrel and deer live streams released for nature-loving Finns, YLE News

Norway: Warmer Barents Sea hits kittiwake birds reproduction capacity, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Roads deadly for reindeer in Arctic Sweden, Radio Sweden

Russia: Russia plans fenced parks to confine reindeer herding in Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Environmentalists sue over Alaska wildlife refuge road plan, Alaska Public Media

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