Bayworld Oceanarium

Antarctic Fur Seal

Common name: Antarctic Fur Seal

Scientific name: Arctocephalus gazella

This is the rarest species of seal to be recorded on the South African coast with some 10 animals ashore. Adults are grizzled grey, silvery or pale brown in colour, with a paler underside. Males reach some 200 kg in weight, and females, 50 kg. Pups are born during the summer on isolated islands. They weaned at four months. She isn’t with the pup for all of this time but goes to sea for a few days or weeks to catch prey.

Antarctic fur seals breed on islands of the Southern Ocean with several million individuals calling South Georgia home. Other populations are found closer to South Africa on the Prince Edward Islands and Bouvet Island. The first vagrant to be recorded on the South African coast was in 2016.

Bayworld has been lucky enough to have hosted several Antarctic fur seal in the rehabilitation programme.

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