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Mysterious Creature Swimming Off Gangneung’s Coast Turns Out to be a Seal

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Yonhap News

A seal was spotted swimming off the coast of Gangneung in Gangwon province.

According to Yonhap News, the sighting occurred around 2:40 PM on June and was captured by an employee working near the coast.

The employees of Jeongdongjin Rail Bike, who recorded the video, said, “We were on our break and looking out at the sea and saw something moving. We thought it was a person, but after a closer look, we realized it was a seal.”

The staff observed the seal swimming near the shoreline for about 10 minutes, not far from the beach. One staff member also explained, “There was a fence set up to prevent people from approaching the beach, so no one was able to get close to or touch the seal.”

YTN

A video captured near a fishing boat off the coast of Gangneung on the same day reveals a seal leisurely swimming in the sea without exhibiting fear of humans. The seal was seen dipping into the water, surfacing occasionally, and shaking off water from its body.

According to the National Institute of Ecology, the seal is a Level 2 endangered wildlife species by the Ministry of Environment and is also recognized as an internationally endangered species. Furthermore, it is a marine protected species by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

Historically, seals were commonly seen on the coast of the East Sea, but their numbers have declined due to environmental changes and illegal hunting for fur. Nowadays, they are occasionally seen in the southern and western waters of Korea and the East Sea in the winter.

Similarly, in March last year, a seal about 6.5 feet long was spotted off the coast of Gangneung, and in 2019, a seal entangled with trash around its neck was found on Mangsang Beach on the east coast.

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