When rescuers found a baby seal who was missing his ears, they knew he badly needed help. The rescuers brought the adorable little seal to the Okhotsk Tokkari Center in Hokkaido, a marine rehabilitation center.
As the little seal grew up, he was as happy as could be. He didn’t let his injuries stop him from enjoying his life. The staff at the rescue center all fell in love with the seal, and they decided to give him a present: a stuffed seal that was also missing his ears.
The seal immediately fell in love with the stuffed version of himself. He hugged the stuffed animal close to his chest and wouldn’t let go.
The staff at the center loved seeing how happy the stuffed animal made the seal! They shared photos of the seal on their Twitter page, and they quickly went viral.
— 紋別オホーツクランド (@mombetsu_land) February 23, 2017
After the photos went viral, the staff shared another video of the seal giving his stuffed animal a piggyback ride. It received over a million views!
— アザラシシーパラダイス【公式】 (@aguhiyori) February 23, 2017
The center also has shared lots of other adorable videos of their staff working with their seals. One cute video shows a seal mimicking one of the trainers.
— アザラシシーパラダイス【公式】 (@aguhiyori) March 1, 2017
Everybody on Twitter loved seeing the photos of the seal and his stuffed animal. The photos brightened so many people’s days!
After the photos went viral, the Okhotsk Tokkari Center explained that their mission is to help injured seals.
“Tokkari” is the Ainu word for “azarashi” (earless seal), and as the center’s name would imply, this facility specializes in sheltering and conservation of earless seals. Visitors can observe the natural ecology of these graceful seals, and even take part in close-up interactive activities.”
The center also said that once the seals are healed, they release them back to the wild:
“All the while, the center serves as a conservation facility, treating earless seals that have been injured or caught in fishing nets, and returning them home to the ocean. The Okhotsk Tokkari Center holds and extremely important role as Japan’s one and only marine animal conservation facility.”
This sweet injured seal couldn’t hide his excitement when he received a stuffed animal that looked just like him. We’re so glad this seal is enjoying his new toy!
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h/t: Bored Panda