Mothers of these precious little ones are highly dedicated for the first twelve days. In fact, they do not eat at all during that period. Unfortunately, once the feeding is over, that’s it for mother-child bonding—she’s out of there, ready to mate again.
Unlike many other species with such abrupt weaning periods, the harp seal pup can’t go on to survive on its own yet. Instead it is left stranded on the ice for the next month and a half, leaving it incredibly vulnerable to predators.
Read the rest about harp seals and other not-so-great animal moms at mental_floss. Link
(Image credit: Flickr user Luke Bryant)
I've seen a few in line outside of the welfare office.