Natural Habitat started their company to bring awareness to the plight of the baby harp seals. When unlimited hunting was permitted, hunters and commercial companies would club the babies and strip them of their fur, leaving the carcass to rot. Now here we are many years later with the awareness of the inhumanity, the baby harp seals are still being hunted. Due to climate change the hunts are starting earlier and earlier. The government has changed some of the guidelines for hunting, but the cruelty still exists, and it breaks your heart.
Natural Habitat Adventures is the company I had my first travel adventure with. One of the best trips I have done was to go see the baby harp seals. I was fortunate enough to be able to go before they discontinued their adventures to the baby harp seals. Due to global warming, the ice is harder and harder to find so it became less economical to make the flights out to the ice. The decision was made to stop this particular adventure.
It was so rewarding to be able to get on the ice with them, slowly go up to the pup and be able to touch him/her. Feel their fur, look into those big black eyes. Some were more defensive then others. They would snarl and bark at you, basically saying “stay away” where indicated. While others almost beckoned you to come see them. All awhile you had to watch the blow holes in the ice to make sure momma wasn’t coming out. She was very protective and might, would bite. You could crawl right up to the babies and touch their fur, and rub their bellies, and of course coo to them. Sometimes they would coo right back. Always leaving me awe—struck and trying to figure out how to take one home. Of course, I knew better. But if wishers were horses then beggars could ride.