I, and I’m sure many of you, could not get out of bed this morning. I stared through my laptop screen wondering if I would feel this empty for the rest of my life as I waited for society to collapse around me. But then, I saw an image of this puny pup — a baby gray seal. Not everything is bad, I thought. The world isn’t ending for everyone. It certainly is not ending for this seal.
The female gray sea pup was born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on 21st January at 12:43AM (an Aquarius, of course) to her 33-year-old mother Kara and 26-year-old father, Gunther, and weighs a hefty 37 pounds. While 33 might sound young for a mother, Kara is in fact the oldest grey seal ever to give birth in a zoo, according to a National Zoo press release. The pup doesn’t have a name yet, although a National Zoo press spokesperson told me that names typically come from donors, keepers, or even contests.
Gray seal Kara and her new female pup. Photo: Jacqueline Conrad, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
The main newsworthy things here are those precious, marble eyes, innocent, curious stare and soft newborn fur that our darling will eventually shed into its grey adult coat. But that’s not all. “They’re an incredible story,” Devin Murphy, spokeswoman for the National Zoo, told Gizmodo. “Gray seals were once very endangered and thankfully due to conservation efforts they’re no longer listed.”