Monday, June 22, 2009

northern elephant seal
Mirounga angustirostris

Initially, we believed this was an unusually, big-headed harbor seal, who was despondent over its lost pup - the same cute little one we witnessed at almost the same spot 2 days before during our regular walk. We fabricated a fantastic story of how the 1-800-marine-animal rescue team had whisked away the pup to human care, not realizing the poor momma was soon to return to her child... now missing!

This ID was provided by a very pleasant Marine Mammal Center volunteer. She told us it was a juvenile elephant seal that she believed was looking for a place to molt. The volunteer was waiting for a cohort to provide a "board" to transport the elephant seal to a less conspicuous and heavy-traffic location. I don't know if they took it to Santa Cruz or further south near San Simeon to be with its kind.

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