RARE CRABEATER SEAL FOUND

February 25, 2011 by dyertrust

The Trust received a call from Jason Stonehewer about the sighting of an unusual seal on Pearly Beach. It turned out to be a rare visitor to these shores, aCrabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophagus). These seals are very common in Antarctica. They have specialized teeth to filtrate the water and contrary to their name, feed on krill in the water column. This is the same crab eater seal which was seen at Lamberts Bay over the past weekend.

Found alive but died on the beach, it was a male, 185cm long. Photos and measurements will be sent to Oceans and Coasts and the Mammal Research Institute (MRI) for their records.

There is no known reason why it would have ended up and although rare, Meredith Thornton of the MRI comments , There have been previous sightings over the years and always same time of the year end January, and usually of a young age.