Mary Marshall, a woman who was part of an expedition with Cheeseman’s Ecology Safaris,
had an amazing experience with a seal while on the islands and mainland of the Antarctic Peninsula.
She and a few other shipmates managed to capture the entire event on film, and it’s truly incredible.
Marshall, camera in hand, watched as a young seal came ashore while on her expedition.
Local laws require that people stay 15 feet away from animals
(30 feet from colonies of penguins and other birds) unless they approach you,
so she ensured that she was sitting 25 feet away as to not get too close. S
he zoomed in to take pictures and then, 45 minutes later, moved slightly closer to video the animal.
The seal looked straight into her lens, definitely noticing Marshall’s presence, and began to approach her. It came right up to her, not showing much (if any) fear at all, and started to sniff and nudge her shoe then leg.
Marshall didn’t do much differently, and simply continued to film the seal as she took part in an incredible experience.
The same event was also videoed by a ship mate, so you’re able to see the sequence of events from a slightly different angle. From that point of view, you can definitely tell that Marshall didn’t try to coerce the seal to come up to her at all.
She simply sat there and watched as the seal came right up to her. It nudged and sniffed her legs and arm and continued its investigation of her by even getting right up in her face. At one point, the animal rested its head in her lap.
You can tell Marshall was somewhat surprised and that she hadn’t expected anything of the sort to happen.
But she was very respectful of the seal, and crossed her arms over her chest after passing off her camera so the she didn’t touch the animal directly; she ensured that the seal was making all the moves.
Eventually, the seal moved over to Marshall’s shipmates and husband who were sitting nearby. She continued to video as the animal remained just as friendly and inquisitive around them.
It exhibited the same behaviors with them as it did with Marshall, sniffing and rubbing up against each of them. After some time though, it came right back to Marshall.
At a point, it even placed its face partially under her legs and began flinging sand on itself. A caption on the video explains that elephant seals like to throw sand on themselves while resting on the beach.
Marshall and her companions, not surprisingly, seemed completely infatuated with the seal. They smiled from ear to ear as the animal continued to move about them, and one of them even cooed, “oh my gosh, you’re so sweet” at the seal club.
After more time passed, the seal finally began to move away towards the other seals on the same beach.
While at first they believed that this was the animal’s way of letting it know it was time to go, it ended up stopping halfway between them and the other seals and returned to Marshall. It placed its fin on top of her, laid down next to her, and then scooted right up close to leg. Unfortunately, it was then time for Marshall to leave and return to the ship.
Marshall and those with her on the expedition had an absolutely amazing and one of a kind experience.
It’s adorable to watch as the seal pup comes right up to them in the video, seeming comfortable, friendly, and inquisitive. Can you imagine having this happen to you? Talk about a once in a life time event!
Question of the Day:
Would you snuggle up with a baby seal ?
Let us know in the comments below!