Curious seal says, "Are you my mother?"

Seals in False Bay


On our way back to Simon’s Town after a dive at Shark Alley on 11 November 2012 we spotted a disturbance on the water and birds overhead in the distance. This usually indicates that something is feeding – maybe dolphins – so we switched off the boat and waited. The birds were coming our way. It turned out to be a huge group of over 100 Cape fur seals. At first they seemed to be feeding on something, as they were porpoising a lot and creating a lot of bubbles, but we couldn’t see any fish and none of them surfaced with anything in their mouths. They were heading in the direction of Seal Island, but at a fairly leisurely pace. There were really large seals as well as some smaller ones in the group, and they seemed very relaxed and social. Once they’d moved away, we switched on the boat and continued home.

Apparently (thanks Alison!) large groups of seals like this are quite common at night, as they leave Seal Island to feed. This group probably assembled in response to the presence of a large school of fish that they wanted to feed on.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.