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National Geographic: «Jennifer Hayes: A Seal Encounter Brings a Change of Heart» by Jennifer Hayes

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Jennifer Hayes and her partner David Doubilet spent two years photographing the ecosystem of Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence for the story “The Generous Gulf“, appearing in the May 2014 issue of National Geographic magazine. For about ten days, they worked with harp seals in and under the ice near Magdalen Island.


The harp seal females give birth to their pups, called white coats, on the ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in February. The female will nurse the pup for 12 to 15 days. Then, she will abandon the pup so it learns how to eat, swim, and become a harp seal all on its own. It’s a tough beginning in a tough environment.