Two seals at a small biopark in Hokkaido have been creating a buzz online recently, as videos of their daily interaction with their keepers melted hearts on social media.
Earlier this month, a video of one of the spotted seals fast asleep while floating like a log went viral and surpassed 2.57 million views soon after it was posted on Twitter by the staff at Azarashi Sea Paradise in Mombetsu. Azarashi is the Japanese word for seals.
"We want to let people know more about the ecology (of seals) and also hope they will come visit our facility," one of the staff members said.
ただただアグが寝ている動画です笑。— アザラシシーパラダイス【公式】 (@aguhiyori) May 5, 2019
Azarashi Sea Paradise was opened in 2015 by Okhotsk Garinko and Tower Co., a public-private venture, and launched its official Twitter account the following year. The seal keepers have since posted more than 2,000 photos and videos of the pair of sea mammals and the account currently has over 53,000 followers.
Twice a day, the three staff members tweet images of the two seals -- Agu, a male estimated to be 31 years old, and Hiyori, a 5-year-old female -- such as when the animals are feeding, sunbathing, or playing. Each video is kept relatively short at about 10 seconds for easy access.
The viral video of Agu snoozing while floating was posted on May 5 and soon won over 150,000 likes.
"We often get asked by visitors how seals sleep, so we videoed this in hopes of providing an answer," said Ayako Oba, one of the keepers who look after the seals.
The staff members said they will continue to share online all sorts of daily scenes of the seals.
迫りくるあぐくん— アザラシシーパラダイス【公式】 (@aguhiyori) May 22, 2019
え？そっち？— アザラシシーパラダイス【公式】 (@aguhiyori) May 15, 2019
Admission to Azarashi Sea Paradise is 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for elementary to high school students, and preschool-aged children can enter for free. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visitors can get up close to the seals during three feeding sessions each day, with each session accepting five participants on a first-come-first-served basis. Visitors can also take pictures with the seals at the end of the feeding sessions.
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