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Curious Baby Elephant Seal

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Uploaded on Apr 3, 2010

A baby elephant seal curious, brave, and too comfortable with and among people it turns out. Petermann island, Antarctica. Below is a longer description in response to viewers' comments.

Antarctica is remote wilderness (yes, even the Peninsula that gets the lion's share of small but increasing tourist numbers). There is no baiting, feeding, tracking or approaching the animals to facilitate interaction with tourists. All close interaction happens by chance and is initiated by the animal itself. The number of people landing at each site is closely monitored (no more than 100 allowed at once) and they leave no footprint (no flags, food, or any waste).

Petermann island is visited mainly for the scenery and large bird colonies (two penguin kinds, blue-eyed shags etc.). Not seals. Seals in large numbers are more easily observed on the beaches in the sub-antarctic islands. That is why I was thrilled by this spontaneous encounter with the baby seal on a not-so-large piece of rock. I did not film the end of this encounter but was told both seal and its observers were sad to part ways and head each to their more permanent abode: seal back in the water and people back onto the mother ship.

Canon HF100 with a wide-angle Raynox 6600 lens attached was used to film the seal.

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