Baby Cape fur seal stranded at Danger Point

December 15, 2011 by dyertrust

During the month of December, we often get many reports of stranded Cape fur seal pups. Pupping time is in full swing and the massive (+300kg) adult males are still on the island causing chaos defending their territories from rival malesand it is during that chaos that many pups are kicked off the island. Usually when we receive reports of stranded pups, they are often beyond our help either by injuries or they have perished during their long journey to the beach.

And then there was the case of Rori. We received a call in the late afternoon of 4 December, detailing a stranded seal pup at Danger Point (some 10km from Geyser Rock!),

but we were assured this pup was very strong and indeed he (or she) was! It’s hard not to fall in love with any baby Cape fur seal, but this seal in particular captured the hearts of our two Dyer Island Cruises marine biologists, Lori Beraha and Michelle Wcisel, and our volunteers Sari, Larissa, Keike, and Ellie. We knew we had to try and get him back to the island, Michelle stated. Even with the chance of him reuniting with his mother or being adopted by another being very low, a small chance is better than no chance at all.

When asked why not rear the seal on land with a bottle, Michelle explained, A fed seal is a dead seal, just like the baboons. Unfortunately, as soon as animals associate humans with food they are often killed by the wrong type of human.

Rori was transported early the next morning on Dyer Island Cruises’ boat-based whale watching vessel, Whale Whisperer to Geyser Rock, where Lori and Michelle worked to orientate him back towards the seal colony. It was very important to us to see that Rori was calling to the colony and very eager to get back to the seals, explains Lori. Perhaps his chances are better than most. Then Rori’s big moment came when skipper Albert Scholtz expertly placed the Whale Whisperer precariously near the rocks, and we were able to give Rori one last boost of confidence before making his fling to freedom. Ok3, 2, 1, GO! Michelle shouted, and Rori made a graceful dive into the water next to the colony.

At first, Rori was reluctant to leave his new family on the Whale Whisperer, but after seeing his seal kin, Rori climbed back onto the island and continued to crawl into the interior. This is as much as we can do, it’s up to him now! Skipper Albert cheered. It’s impossible to tell whether or not Rori will survive, but marine biologists Lori knows otherwise. I get the feeling every time we pass Geyser Rock that he’s looking at us thinking I know those people!

If you encounter any wildlife in need of rescue or any stranded animals, please contact us anytime at 082-907-5607. Remember, not all stranded/rescued animal stories have such a happy ending as Rori’s, but we do our best to make it possible.