Seals in and around Gothenburg: Aquatic environment boosts relaxation

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ATHENA Ethical MEDIA

Some people travel to another coastal town or city, or to another country, to watch seals but in Gothenburg there are seals in the heart of the city. Studies are proving the health benefits of watching fish (in aquariums), and being closer to aquatic environments.

There is a small pond of seals in the middle of Slottsskogen, one of the parks of Gothenburg since 1874. The pond was built in 1993 but seals are raised in Slottsskogen since 1902.

The pond is netted with a perforated iron-grid but be aware of not to feed.

Sweden has three species of seals: grey seals along the east coast, the ringed seal in the Gulf of Bothnia, and the common seal along the west coast where Gothenburg aka Göteborg is located. In the Southern Archipelago of Gothenburg (Södra Skärgården) you can spot seals, especially at the island called Vrångö where seals are ‘commonplace’.

Common seals are gregarious animals: they live in flocks, and eat small fish.

A female seal gives birth to only one baby or a pup at a time unlike pigs. The pup lives solely on its mother’s breastmilk but after suckling for three to five weeks the pup has to feed by itself and by which time it would have learned from its mother and fellow seals as how to find food and fend for itself.

Seal is a marine or aquatic mammal and can live in the water for 20 minutes, and they can dive in and dive out of water up to 100m.

At the seals’ pond in Slottsskogen, one can find a seal flapping its front flippers and landing on the concrete structures in the pond, it stays above water for few minutes and dives back flapping its rear flippers. Each flipper of a seal has five claws.

The average life span of a seal is 30 years but a seal in Slottsskogen has lived to 34 years.

A seal weighs up to 150 kg.

The seals’ pond also has a view of an aquarium. Through the glass you can see the seals deep in the water.