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Dozens of seals set off on an ice floe from Baikal to Angara

Dozens of seals set off on an ice floe from Baikal to Angara
Photo: press service of the Baikal Museum of the IRC SB RAS

Scientists from the Baikal Museum of the IRC SB RAS have recorded a unique phenomenon. About 30 seals floated to the Angara on a breakaway ice floe. How quickly the animals returned to Baikal is still unknown.

According to the press service of the museum, the incident happened on April 5 at about 11 am. An ice floe 15 meters long broke off the ice cover of Lake Baikal when two seals were sitting on it. But after a few minutes, other animals began to emerge from the water, which joined the travelers on the floating ice floe. In just 15 minutes, there were at least 15 individuals on it, while others continued to purposefully arrive on the ice floe. In total, up to 30 individuals lay on a piece of ice.

As scientists note, bedding on ice floes is a common occurrence for seals. Animals shed better under the sun. However, molting, as they are called, usually occurs in May. And for the seals to get out onto the ice floe at the source of the Angara - this has been recorded for the first time. Usually one or two seals winters in these places.

Most of all, scientists are concerned about the question: did the seals wintered in this place or came from afar. If local seals rode on an ice floe, then researchers will have to revise the data on the lake's fish stocks, since feeding about 30 adult animals is not an easy task. If these are not local individuals, then it will be necessary to further study their migration capabilities.

Video: Baikal Museum of the IRC SB RAS


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