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Seals and Wolves

What in the world has happened to this cute animal? A bearded seal, which should usually be seen in the Arctic Ocean, has been found swimming in a river in Tokyo. The seal has been there for more than a week and drawn a lot of visitors. Animal experts say it can stay there for a while because the river is rich in the animal's favorite fish, and it can presumably adapt to the water temperature. Hmmm...but is s/he really all right there?

I have seen seals in a river near the Okhotsk Ocean in mid-winter.

Speaking of seals, there is bad and sad news. The Okhotsk Aquarium in Abashiri City will close down this month because of its falling visitor revenues. The aquarium started in 1956 and has been one of the must-see spots in Abashiri. Though not a large-scale aquarium, it was a big attraction for me as a kid. I liked to watch grotesque-looking wolf fish (have you ever seen one?) and huge sea lions. Also driving a go-kart was a lot of fun. I, however, haven't been there for ages. Too bad. I must see them again.


I have a bad feeling about this out-of-place seal. Coupled with the flooding in Europe and the panicky objections of some south-sea island nations to the US' rejection of the Kyoto agreement, then all these reports about glaciers melting... it just makes one wonder if that provervial other shoe is about to drop.

On a more positive note, I remember my own visits to the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. As with so many experiences, there is an optimum time for it: it must be a hot, sunny day. After walking along the lakefront, one enters the cool, dim light of the Aquarium, amid so many colorful and interesting fish, and spends perhaps hours. Then, on leaving, one steps into the bright light again, blinking, maybe a little less hot now that it's evening. It's exactly the feeling of return from another world that one gets after seeing an afternoon matinee.


Hi, KIYO-san

I went to Tokyo with our younger son and we had lunch with my sister's family.
My niece told me that from the train she had taken she had seen a lot of people watching TAMA-chan, the seal you wrote about.

I wonder whether it is happy there, as we think of a seal as an animal which seems to like living in a big group. My sister even said, "it will be single forever if it stays there! Poor seal!"

Well, I'm not sure if all the married are happy.

Yes, MNW, I wonder if some critical environmental factors have something to do with this seal being there.

I like visiting aquariums. I'd like to visit the one in Chicago some day. :)

Hi, Serena-san. If you please, simply call me "Kiyo" without "san" here. ;) Sure, I'm worried about Tama-chan too.