Buffel the elephant seal spotted again

Posted by David Henning on 11 October 2021

Buffel, the elephant seal who seems to fancy the cape, was spotted at Duiker Island last week. Buffel first arrived on South Africa’s shores in 2019, choosing to moult at Fish Hoek beach for 30 days, returning annually since he was spotted earlier this year at Dias Beach in Cape Point.

Elephant seals are visitors to South Africa’s shores, but few stragglers may find their way to South Africa. They sometimes join Cape fur seal colonies, like Buffel at Duiker Island.

There are roughly 10 sightings a year along South Africa’s coastline, and Buffel seems to have extended his stay at the Cape. Last week, two biologists from Animal Ocean took advantage of a clear weather gap to follow up on recent reports of bait balls and whales off the west coast of the Cape Peninsula.

The start of the show, however, was Buffel seen with a dead Cape fur seal in his mouth on Duiker Island just outside Hout Bay. Southern elephant seals swim around the sub-Antarctic islands about 2 000 km south of South Africa but search for a beach between South Africa and Antarctica to moult.

Pictures: Sea Search Research and Conservation

Featured Image: Getaway Gallery

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