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Elephant seal and ocean plastic

by Diana Studer - gardening for biodiversity in Cape Town, South Africa
Elephant seal
For a few weeks our beach walks have circled around Buffel the subantarctic elephant seal. He comes ashore each year for a month to moult, living off his blubber. He doesn't just shed his fur, but also his skin, leaving bits on the beach that look like teddy bears or rabbits. Buffel is 4.2 metres long and 1,200 kilograms. Nine years old, another year till he is fully adult. Elephant for his inflatable proboscis! From IFAW

At first he was the same silvery grey as the sand he lay on. Volunteers made a token barrier of kelp. Later posts, tape and signs were added. Please stay at a respectful distance, quietly. Your dogs on leash.

Buffel was tagged in 2014 at Cape Point. His closest colony is on Marion Island almost two thousand kilometres to swim. From Animal Ocean
After he moulted he uses his flippers to scatter sand over his back to shield the sun. We have a sand sculptor on our beach. As we walked…

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