Sout­hern e­lep­hant se­al vi­sits

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - News - Ter­sia Marais

Despi­te their mas­si­ve weig­ht, sout­hern e­lep­hant se­als pro­pel them­sel­ves quick­ly and speeds by the­se mam­mals as fast as 8km/h ha­ve been re­cor­ded.

A fe­ma­le sout­hern e­lep­hant se­al hau­led her­self on to the sand at Ree­bok on Sun­day af­ter­noon, 18 No­vem­ber.

Be­ver­ley and Buks S­choltz took their Yor­kies for a walk on the be­ach w­hen they saw the se­al.

They cal­led the NSRI, who ga­ve them the num­ber of S.M.A.R.T. (S­tran­ded Ma­ri­ne A­ni­mal Res­cue Te­am) and vo­lun­teers we­re im­me­di­a­te­ly despa­t­ched and they mo­ni­to­red the se­al.

Leslie is a two-y­e­ar-old se­al and first ca­me as­ho­re in e­ar­ly Ja­nu­a­ry 2018, in Jef­frey's Bay. Sin­ce it was the ho­li­day se­a­son, she was cap­tu­red and trans­lo­ca­ted to a be­ach with fe­wer pe­op­le, but she was back the next day.

Elai­ne S­chmidt from the NSRI kept an eye on her w­hi­le she was as­ho­re. Elai­ne na­med her af­ter her sis­ter, Leslie. She was tag­ged and her tag num­ber is YY0078.

She re­tur­ned to sea and has co­me out se­ver­al ti­mes sin­ce at va­ri­ous pla­ces al­ong the Sout­hern and Eas­tern Ca­pe co­ast, al­ways for less than a day. At Ree­bok, t­his is the lon­ge­st she has been as­ho­re in one pla­ce.

Alt­hough a ra­re sig­hting, it is not qui­te un­com­mon for the­se “wor­ld tra­vel­lers” to vi­sit our co­as­t­li­ne.

Ac­cor­ding to Wi­ki­pe­dia, sout­hern e­lep­hant se­als are the lar­ge­st An­tarctic se­als and get their na­me from their si­ze and the lar­ge pro­bos­cis of the a­dult ma­les. The bulls ty­pi­cal­ly weigh 2 200 to 4 000 ki­lo­grams and can me­a­su­re from 4.2 to 5.8 me­tres in length. The fe­ma­les are much smal­ler, with a weig­ht of 400 to 900kg and length of 2.6 to three me­tres. Leslie's pre­sen­ce on the Ree­bok be­ach has gi­ven the vo­lun­teers of S.M.A.R.T. the op­por­tu­ni­ty to wa­tch and en­joy her be­ha­vi­our. 2018 was an ex­cep­ti­o­nal y­e­ar for the non-pro­fit or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on as it has mo­ni­to­red and res­cu­ed 11 subAn­tarctic fur se­als as well as two An­tarctic fur se­als.

The te­am ho­ped to see an e­lep­hant se­al and was e­la­ted at the news of Leslie on a lo­cal be­ach. Alt­hough Leslie went back in­to the o­ce­an on Tu­es­day af­ter­noon, 20 No­vem­ber, she mig­ht rest on our sho­res a­gain.

Ple­a­se do not at­tempt to go ne­ar se­als; they mo­ve ex­tre­me­ly fast and can be ag­gres­si­ve.

Con­tact S.M.A.R.T. (072 227 4715) to re­port all ma­ri­ne a­ni­mal stran­dings im­me­di­a­te­ly. A fal­se a­larm is bet­ter than a de­ad a­ni­mal on the be­ach.

Ad­di­ti­o­nal sour­ce: Wi­ki­pe­dia

P­ho­to: Ter­sia Marais

Leslie en­joying the cool wa­ter af­ter res­ting all day in the sun.

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