WATCH: Sacrifice of harp seal mom in rearing its baby

For Mother’s Day, IFAW is sharing some video of mothers and young of the species we protect. --ED

Harp seals give birth to only one pup at a time, so the bond between a mother and that pup is strong.

Baby harp seals come into the world totally dependent on their mothers, who nurse them on the ice for nearly two weeks. In that time, the mothers do not eat, losing up to 80 pounds of their body weight, while the pup, nourished on milk that is nearly 50 percent fat, gains about five pounds a day.

Also on WATCH: Importance of rhino mother’s bond in protecting baby

The video above was shot in 2009 on the Magdalen Islands, or Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The parent and child communicate through vocalization, but it is the scent that identifies the pup as her own among the thousands in the entire nursery.


Learn more about IFAW and its work to save seals.

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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Sheryl Fink, Campaign Director, Canadian Wildlife
Campaign Director, Canadian Wildlife
Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President of International Operations
Vice President of International Operations