A very rare ribbon seal turned up on Long Beach recently and it`s markings are so peculiar it led to a huge online debate on whether this creature was actually real or fake.
Well it turns out this species of seal actually exists and it`s called a Ribbon Seal.
This particular seal that gave Washington a visit seemed in good health and after a bit of exploring he or she went back into the water and swam off.
Ribbon seals are usually found in the Arctic and Subarctic regions and so for one to appear on a beach in the US is very rare indeed.
Despite looking like a love child from a zebra and seal romance this creature’s stripes are ideal for hiding from predators in the Arctic.
When ribbon seals are born their fur is pure white and as their baby fur sheds away their unique circular stripes begin to show. It is believed the stripes only become visible once the seal has reached sexual maturity.
Unfortunately many years ago the ribbon seals were hunted for their fur but since a ban was set in place back in the sixties their population has started making a come back. There is currently an estimated 250,000 ribbon seals in the wild.
These seals not only eat fish such as the Arctic Cod but they also love to feast on squid, octopus and crustaceans.
In fact they have become very adept at diving and can reach depths of 200 meters to search for food.
This circular striped seal is a very solitary animal, if you ever are fortunate to spot one the chances there isn’t another around for miles.
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Article Source – Snopes