Orca Foundation tags Solo, the elephant seal
Last week our seal biologist, Frikkie Van Der Vyver, managed to tag Solo, the adult male southern elephant seal that regularly hauls out at the Cape fur seal colony on Robberg Peninsula.
Being vagrant visitors to the South African coastline, only a handful of elephant seals come ashore along the Garden Route coastline every year, some of which are tagged by researchers in order to study their movement and origin.
Although Solo has been returning regularly to Robberg for many years, it is still unknown where he goes when he is absent for 1-2 months at a time. But, if he hauls out on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, the closest island where elephant seals breed and moult, there is a good chance that his uniquely numbered tag will be recorded by overwinter biologist during their routine round-island censuses.
For more information on elephant seals and the Pretoria University’s long running Marion Island Marine Mammal Programme, click here.