Southern Elephant Seal on Buffels Bay Beach, Cape Point.
Buffel, the famous cape townian Southern Elephant seal, has chosen Buffels Bay baeach to moult this year. I would took if a beach was named after me !
On the 7th Feb, Buffel tried to come ashore on the rocks at Sandy Bay, but returned to sea. On the 13th Feb he climbed out the water onto the slipway at Buffels Bay and quickly settled on the beach.
Buffel is easily recognisable by the scar above his left eye and the yellow tag on his hind flipper. His coat is still fluffy and light in colour but int the next few weeks that will peel off. He will become itchy and irritable, causing his to flick sand over his body. Last time he chose Fish Hoek beach to moult on, causing huge crowds to form around him, as people didn’t know what to make of this massive creature relaxing on the beach. Many though he was dying. this is normal Elephant seal behaviour, its just not normal to have it happening in Cape Town.
Elephant seals are the biggest species of pinneped on the planet and can reach a maximum weight of 4000 kgs! They can dive to over 2000m and stay under for 120 mins. They are true masters of the underwater world and we are honoured to have Buffel on our shores. Buffel was first recorded as a pup at Olifantsbos beach in 2012 by Patrick Benade, later tagged on Buffels Bay slipway by Steve Kirkman in 2014. Buffel has since joined us at Duiker Island, where as a young male drowned and a few Cape Fur seals with the affections.
Happy moulting Buffel, see you at Duiker Island in October 🙂
Check out past blog entires about Buffel – Animal Ocean diary