APR 21, 2019 7:05 PM PDT

A seal catches a ride on man's kayak

This gray seal is extra friendly and curious as he follows a pair of kayakers for over a mile and a half before hopping up onto their kayaks to come to say hello and take a ride. While this video was taken in Forth Estuary, Scotland, gray seals cover a wide range from the Northeast coast of North America to the Northwest coast of Europe. They were once close to extinction in the United States and are now protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. 

Gray seals can reach up to 3.5 meters long, weigh up to 400 kilograms, and live up to 35 years in the wild. As seen in the video, they are obviously very social animals, and they often rest onshore between hunting trips together in small groups. They form much larger groups during the breeding season. One funny fact about gray seals is that their genus name halichoerus gryus means “hooked-nosed sea pig.” Watch the video to get an up-close view of one to see if you agree with its nickname!

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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