Elephant seal moulting at Gonzales Beach. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Elephant seal claims B.C. beach for its annual moulting

This seal will be confined to land, sleeping, shedding its fur and losing 25 per cent of its body weight

Beach-goers to Victoria’s Gonzales Beach were in for a treat this week as an elephant seal chose the popular spot to lounge and shed its fur during its yearly moulting season. It was an opportunity to get up close and personal to some local wildlife – but not too close.

The BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre had been down to check on the seal and even cordoned off the section of beach where the animal rests, in order to give it space for this month long process.

A sign attached to the caution tape perimeter explains that the lethargic, sick-looking animal is actually healthy and going through a natural process that sees it confined to land and sleeping most of the time, while it sheds it fur and an incredible 25 per cent of its body weight.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada asks the public to keep their distance. The elephant seal may look slow and harmless, but it is capable of moving very quickly and could be dangerous if it feels threatened.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Elephant seal moulting at Gonzales Beach. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Elephant seal moulting at Gonzales Beach. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Elephant seal moulting at Gonzales Beach. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Just Posted

Bad weather delays next Prince Rupert/Haida Gwaii ferry

Stormy weather will delay the next ferry sailing from Prince Rupert to… Continue reading

Social media strains over Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

Resident forms Community for Clean Water, and Jennifer Rice responds acting mayor’s comments

Port authority imposes ban on development around Lelu Island

Following Pacific Northwest LNG, there will be no future projects proposed near Flora Bank

Shutter Shack being held hostage by landlords, protesters say

Victoria-based landlords to supervise removal of equipment from their Prince Rupert commercial unit

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

This Week Show – Episode 118

Highlights from this week in Prince Rupert

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Student rangers sought for Terrace

Young adults interested in student ranger program have until Feb. 24 to apply

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read