The most unique animal at Lake Baikal is the freshwater seal (lat. Pusa Sibirica), known as nerpa. It is the only freshwater seal in the world. Its entire population is land-locked in the freshwater of the lake. The mystery of how the seal became trapped in the lake continues to puzzle scientists. Besides being a freshwater lake, the Baikal is hundreds of miles away from any other sea or ocean. One theory says that the Baikal seals are gone down from predecessors in the Paratethys Sea, which covered south-east Europe until 2-3 million years ago. An opposing hypothesis is that the seals are of Arctic ancestry, and migrated south through a network of rivers and lakes. Eventually, the nerpa has evolved some amazing adaptations. Reaching a maximum size of 1.5 m and 90 kg, the Baikal Seal is one of the world’s smallest seals.
Due to the low light conditions under the ice, the seal’s eyes grew surprisingly large in comparison to the body size.
Nowadays, the Baikal Seal is a symbol and one of the most beautiful Baikal’s habitants.
It is hard to meet these animals in a natural habitat, as they are very shy. At the Irkutsk Nerpinary or Sealarium you will study seal’s character, behavior, and watch a nerpa show. They can dance, sing, play with a ball, and even count! You might check their painting abilities and buy a painting at the auction.
By the way, don’t confuse the Irkutsk Nerpinary with Nerpinary of Listvyanka settlement, which is located 70 km from the city.
Opening hours: Daily from 11.00 to 18.30, except Mon, Tue, Wed
300 Rub on weekdays
350 Rub on weekends and public holidays
Website: www.baikalnerpa.ru (Rus)
Address: 66, 2th Zheleznodorozhnaya str. (Rus: 2ая Железнодорожная, 66)
How to get To Irkutsk Nerpinary:
Bus stop “Kinoteatr Chayka” (Rus: Кинотеатр Чайка).
Check out the full list of the most interesting tours in Russian cities.