The Mediterranean Monk Seal was first described by Aristotle in the third century B.C. As recently as the 16th century, there were enough Mediterranean monk seals to fuel a commercial harvest. There are fewer than 500 remaining in the wild today and most of them are in the waters around Greece’s northern Aegean islands. They are officially designated as “endangered species” and numerous wildlife protection organizations protect them and support efforts to secure their survival.
In Greece, the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal was established for this purpose.
The organization recently shared a great photo of a seal— named Argyro by locals, who comes ashore on a beach in Samos and sun bathes on a beach chair, imitating humans on the beach. Locals say Argyro is playful and swims with humans when she’s not lounging on her chair.