Cape Town is home to a variety of spectacular marine life. A rare sighting of a southern elephant seal on Dias Beach near Cape Point on Sunday, March 21 was exceptional proof of that.

“There are roughly around 10 sightings a year of this species on our coastline. The male at Dias Beach seal has likely landed here for his annual moult,” said Antone Crone who came across the seal. 

Southern elephant seals swim in the sub-Antarctic waters as far as 2000 kilometres south of South Africa, then find a beach somewhere between Antarctica and South Africa where they can moult.

Moulting is when elephant seals shed a layer of skin to better adapt to the cold waters in which they live. The process takes about one month, according to Getaway Magazine. 

“This seal will likely stay for three or four weeks as he sheds old skin and will not eat over this time, surviving on resources of his fat,” Crone continued.

An elephant seal called Buffel has been seen on the Cape’s beaches before, but it is unsure whether this is him.

Take a look:

Pictures and video: Anton Crone

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