Seal in a cave

The rare monk seal swims in the sea off Piperi in the Sporades Islands, Greece. Fishermen traditionally regarded it as an enemy for eating fish and tangling in their nets, so they killed and sold its pelt. It is still hunted today, even though there are less than 350 seals left. The cliffs of the island have some sea caves carved into them near the water line. David Attenborough crawls inside such a cave to see a monk seal pup. This is one of the last safe places for the seals to breed. Monk seals needs quiet places to come onto land to rest and gently shelving beaches to give birth. The pup can't swim until it is 2 weeks old, so it has to stay somewhere it won't get washed away by the waves. The sandy beaches have been claimed by tourists, so remote and inaccessible caves like this are now the only place for pups to be born. The pup heads out to sea to play in the shallows. This sequence was filmed in the 1980s.

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