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Elephant Seals

Last weekend, when we were at SlowBowl, we took a morning drive over to Seal Beach. Here are a few shots.
Each bull has his harem around him. As they all snooze in the sun, a rogue male will try to move in. The cows are having not of that, so they rise up and make a bit of racket to wake up their bull. He lazily lifts his head and bellows at the approaching male to let him know he isn't welcome.

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From the looks of this bull, he has a bit of experience defending his harem.

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And from the looks of his claws, he's inflicted some damage of his own.

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Here is a picture of three well fed, well tended pups. When a pup gets hungry he begins calling his mother with a distinct call. The mother begins calling back, and the first thing you know they are reunited for meal time. See how smooth their skin is with the underlying layer of fat?

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Sadly, the beach was also littered with pups who can't find their mothers. It could be for any of several reasons. The mother may be inexperienced and not know how to BE a mother. The mother may be dead. The pup may have been rejected. Or some bull may have isolated the mother from her pup. This photo is of a pup who has cried for his mother and can't find her. He only mewed a few times while we were there. Probably too weak to keep searching for her. As you can see from his wrinkled skin, his reserves are almost gone. He probably didn't last more than a day after this picture was taken. Nature is harsh.

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Comments (6)

Nice photos. I didn't know their claws look like that up close. And so sad about the pups without their moms.

Interesting photos. Sad to read about what happens to some of the pups.

Barb Cabot:

Deborah, Glad you made it up to see the seals. It was fascinating. Your pictures are so clear and close up.

These is a very interesting post. It shows the beauty and harshness of nature. We are fortunate to be able to experience it. I like the details of the seals. Nice job.

sandrac:

Great photos, Deborah! But a shame about the pups that have been abandoned. Nature can be very cruel.

Marcia:

I'm so happy that your field trip up the coast worked out so well - great pictures.

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