Three baby seals to be released into the sea

Three baby seals will be released into the wild near some 15 miles off the coast of Ventspils. The baby seals were fed at the Riga Zoo until they were large enough to start catching fish on their own.

The place for releasing the seals was not chosen randomly, as Ventspils was titled the "City most friendly to seals" in 2013.

Many seals are found on the coast of Latvia, especially after warm winters. A total of ten baby seals found their new home at the Riga Zoo in March and April - nine grey seals and a single ringed seal.

A few of them had been bitten by dogs, and veterinarians weren't able to save four of them. The ringed seal was sent to the Łódź Zoo in Poland, while three grey seals will be sent to South Korea in autumn. A grey seal called Peter and two seals who got here this spring are finally big enough to start their Baltic expedition from Ventspils to return to their ancient home in the Estonian islands.

Specialists from Riga Zoo have been working with baby seals in distress (or who were picked up by people who should have been left alone). The 'alumni' of the Zoo have been sent to Zoos around the world, including China, Japan, France, Poland, Lithuania and Estonia. More than ten have been released back into the sea after being marked.

Baby seals who have been fed to reach 30-40 kilograms can live in the sea for weeks without eating, and during this time they can learn to fish.

The only worry specialists have about them is that they don't get caught in fishermen's nets and don't walk into the 'tourist trap' of relying on vacationers for their livelihood. 

There are three species of seals in the Baltics, of which the grey seal and the ringed seal are fairly common on the shores of Latvia, while the common seal fails to live up to its name around here. The season during which seals are born is March or April, usually on the islands of Estonia.

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