An incredible 138 seal pups were recorded in the pup-count in 2018! River Thames, a river in London, was declared "biologically dead" 60 years ago and is now clear evidence of a harbor seal breeding ground! Thea Cox, Conservation Biologist, told ZSL, "We were thrilled to count 138 pups born in a single season. The seals would not be able to pup here at all without a reliable food source, so this demonstrates that the Thames ecosystem is thriving and shows just how far we have come since the river was declared biologically dead in the 1950's."
Anna Cucknell, Project Manager of the ZSL's Thames conservation added, "The restored 'Mother Thames' - as we call her - is an essential nursery habitat and home to many animals including more than 100 species of fish, including two species of shark, short-snouted seahorses and the Critically Endangered European eel.
Incredibly, harbour seal pups can swim within hours of birth which means they are well adapted to grow up in tidal estuaries, like the Thames. By the time the tide comes in they can swim away on it. Grey seals, on the other hand, take longer to be comfortable in the water, so breed elsewhere and come to the Thames later to feed."
The seal numbers in Thames are rising and Thames has now become one of London's most important wildlife habitats!
Story via ZSL