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WATCH: Elephant Seal Pup Rolling Down Hill Is Cutest Start to 2017

Baby elephant seals are known for demanding cuddles from tourists on islands in the Antarctic — but this particular elephant seal pup was a special case.


It’s a new year, a new you and a new contender for cutest moment of 2017. Though notoriously violent and formidable as adults, baby elephant seals are heartwarmingly calm and curious.

They’re well-known for demanding cuddles from tourists on islands in the Antarctic, whether that be on South Georgia Island or the aptly named Elephant Point.

 

All of these encounters generally begin with a curious sniff to the persons’ boots, at which point the elephant seal pup proceeds to flop closer and closer — going in for the hug.

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There are dozens of encounters like this floating around the internet, each starring a seal pup with eyes the size of mandarin oranges that make your heart melt.

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Plus, the blubbery little guys look like wrinkly, loving sausages that deserve a hug more than any other animal in the whole ocean.

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But this latest video doesn’t quite have that happy ending, courtesy of the Daily Mail. Taken by a person in the Falkland Islands, the video shows the curious pup sniffing boots just as any other well-intentioned pup would do.

But after one long inhale, the elephant seal decides these boots are indeed not made for sniffing. And instead of flopping away, the pup escapes the stinky situation in the fastest way possible: rolling its squishy, blubbery body all the way down the hill.

The moment is so cute it’s almost heartbreaking. Remember that moment in "The Princess Bride" when Buttercup pushes Wesley down the hill, thinking he’s the Dread Pirate Roberts, only to realize he had been her true love all along as he shouts “As you wish” while tumbling far, far down the mountain into the Fire Swamp?

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Replace true love with adequate foot hygiene, and you’ve got a 2017 revival of that classic movie right here.

And for all those looking to befriend an elephant seal pup — by staying your distance and letting it approach you to ensure you do not harass or endanger the animal — here’s one golden rule: Always bring foot powder, preferable maximum strength.

 

Check our article: Seal vs sea lion - Check Real Difference

Learn about how you can help vulnerable marine animals by signing up with Oceana.

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Illustration by Fabio Manucci

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