A young elephant seal has visited the shores of Jeffreys Bay and based itself on the beach at Walskipper, Aston Bay.
As curious people came to observe the seal, or just arrive at the beach, the seal would move toward them, resulting in everyone having to move away.
The public responded positively, respecting the animal’s need for space and an opportunity to rest in peace. After about an hour and a half the animal settled down and slept.
Dr Greg Hoffmeyr of the Animal Stranding Network, Bay World, Port Elizabeth, suggested that the animal be moved to a quieter area away from the public.
The Jeffreys Bay NSRI remained on the beach to make sure the seal was not bothering anyone and that no domestic animals approached the seal.
The seal was then transported to a remote beach where the seal was tagged and released.
The young seal’s natural habitat is the deep Southern Ocean islands, such as Marion Island.
A couple of elephant seals visit the beaches of Jeffreys Bay annually, normally at this time of the year.
They apparently moult, discarding their old fur, and then head back south to their home territory.
This particular seal already has its new coat of shiny grey/white fur and is likely to leave for it’s home territory soon.