The Cape has an adorable new visitor! Another Southern Elephant Seal has come ashore in the South Peninsula.
According to the Simon’s Town Boat Company, the seal is a youngster most likely here for its first moult.
Southern elephant seals typically seek rocky island shores and smooth sandy beaches to moult once a year. It takes about a month for the seal to shed its other layer of skin and hair. The old skin becomes very irritable and beach sand is used to help soothe the itch. During the process of moulting, the massive mammals do not consume any food.
The seal is currently 1.6 meters long but will grow to about five meters in length and weigh over three tons as an adult.
Photographer Dave Hurwitz captured some adorable shots of the playful seal.
“They live in the icy sub-Antarctic & Antarctic waters and forage over great distances for food – primarily fish and squid,” writes Simon’s Town Boat Company in a Facebook post.
“It’s rare to see them on our coastline, but when the time comes for their annual molt & our shores provide the closest haul-out, they grab the opportunity.”
Picture/s: Dave Hurwitz / Simon’s Town Boat Company