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

Teens youngest members in Fernie SAR history

Desire to help drives Ben Nixon and Josh Goodison to volunteer

Bear sightings prompt call for community action

Elk Valley and South Country residents have been urged to take responsibility… Continue reading

Decision opens door to short-term rentals

The City of Fernie has opened the door to the short-term rental… Continue reading

Fernie businesses go green

Instead of asking if customers need a bag, cashiers will ask if they’re okay without one.

Failing to stop at watercraft inspection station will result in $345 fine

CO Service reminding boaters it is mandatory to stop at watercraft inspection stations

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

VIDEO: Campers leave big mess at rural Vancouver Island campsite

Vehicle parts, garbage, a mattress, lawn chairs, beer cans, and even fecal matter left in the area

VIDEO: B.C. woman gets up-close view of Royal wedding

Kelly Samra won a trip back to her home country to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say ‘I do’

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

Most Read