Photos and Story
January is a prime month to view northern elephant seal birthings, particularly at Piedras Blancas near San Simeon, Ca.
On Sunday, January 8, 2012, I was near a birthing. It was a surprise because the pup’s fins exited first. It was a breech birth.
This northern elephant seal pup weighs between 60-80 pounds and is just over 3-feet long. It will gain approximately 10 pounds a day. It will nurse for 28-30 days then begin its hard life when its mother abandons it at this time. But at about 300+ pounds at 4-weeks old, it should be able to survive on the beach until April when it is likely to make its first foray into the sea. Yes, each elephant seal pup/weaner must learn to swim and hunt on its own.
Categories: Northern Elephant Seal