Thursday, March 11, 2010

Seal of Approval

February, 2010

How can you not fall in love with them? When they are small, cute, and curious Antarctic fur seals are about the most photogenic animals going on South Georgia! Only as they grow (in both physical size and aggressive attitude) do they lose their appeal.

Mothers with nursing pups are abundant at every landing as fur seals now number into the millions here in South Georgia, quite a comeback after being hunted to commercial extinction in the 19th and 20th centuries.

With their soulful eyes and curious nature they are perfect for photographers!

Of course anyone who knows me knows that I love blondes (they have more fun)! Here a rare (1 in 1,000 or so) blond pup meet a "normal" colored Antarctic fur seal.

Naturally the good-humored nipping and sparring ensues, skills that will be required later in life.
This little fellow snuck up behind me as I was photographing his neighbor.

Of course we all know that curiosity killed the cat...and sometimes fur seal pups as well. This poor little guy has become entangled in fishing line and his future looks grim indeed.

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