@national.geographic A harp seal pup peers into the sea looking for its mother in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence. Harp seal pups are born on the ice in late February and nursed of 12-15 days before the mother abandons them to mate and migrate northward. The pups, fat from enriched milk, will stay on the ice waiting for a mother that will not return. They begin to shed their beautiful white coat and emerge a leaner mottled grey color. Hunger or poor ice will force them into the sea where they must learn to swim, eat and how to be a harp seal. Life in the ice is not easy, natural mortality of pups is high in normal sea ice conditions and extremely high in years of higher than temperatures . We have witnessed seasons in the Gulf of St Lawrence where big storms demolished unstable sea ice before the pups could survive on their own resulting in the loss of 90%+ of the pups in the Gulf that year. It is extraordinary to experience this pulse of life in the ice and swim with mothers and pups but heart wrenching to watch them struggle for lack of ice. These amazing creatures have become the face of climate change for us and we return to the ice each season when conditions allows to continue to document their story in a changing sea. Photographed on assignment for the story The Generous Gulf.
Since 2012, DAVIDOFF Cool Water has joined forces with the National Geographic Society to support their Pristine Seas Expeditions with #LoveTheOcean
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