Check out this Elephant Seal in Plettenberg Bay!

News Article
13 November 2019

For the last few months we have been seeing “Solo”, the name we have given to a single enormous Elephant Seal that makes himself at home with the Cape Fur seal colony on Robberg Peninsula.  On our regular trips to the seals, this amazing creature either sleeps on the mountain or entertain the customers by splashing in the water and showing of its beautiful nature!

The Elephant seal gets its name from its unmistakable swollen, proboscis-like snout of the male, which is used to produce very loud roars, especially during the breeding season.Females are fat and chubby, drab brown and lacks the proboscis. These creatures feeds mostly on Squid, fish, sharks, rays, ratfish, molluscs, crustaceans, krill, algae and they only have one pair of incisor teeth in the lower jaw and the can weigh up to 3.6 tons.

They are very common on sub-Antarctic islands. However, a few stragglers find their way to South Africa each year and may join fur seal colonies.

Join us for your awesome seal experience and come to have a look at this incredible creature!!!

Some fun facts:

  • Southern elephant seals can travel up to 33,800 km per year, the longest known migration for any mammal.
  • Their trunk-like nose serves two purposes: Males use the proboscis to generate loud roars to fend off other males, and both males and females use it to re-absorb moisture during their mating fasts.
  • Southern elephant seals are among the few seals that moult, shedding their outer layer of skin.
  • Bulls form a shield of keratinised skin on their chests to protect them when fighting with other males.
  • Southern elephant seals spend almost 90% of their lives in the water.
  • Males can weigh up to 10 times what females weigh, the greatest weight disparity between sexes of any mammal.