South Africa: Ripple Effect – the Sad Story of the Western Cape ‘Refugee’ Seals

Malnourished Cape fur seals, probably from the Western Cape, are washing up along South Africa’s Eastern Cape coast.

Scores of dead or dying Cape fur seals have been washing up along South Africa’s West Coast since October. Now researchers suspect that seals from that area are starting to wash up along the Eastern Cape coast while searching for food.

Marine researchers in the Eastern Cape suspect the seal die-off happening along the West Coast of South Africa, which has involved hundreds of malnourished Cape fur seals and carcasses washing up, is starting to have a ripple effect.

This week Greg Hofmeyr, curator of marine mammals at Bayworld in Gqeberha, told DM168 that recently more weaned seal pups than usual had started washing ashore.

The seal pups, known as underyearlings, ranged from about 10 to 12 months old.

They were thin.

Hofmeyr said it was not unusual for a few Cape fur seals to end up on the shore along the Southern and Eastern Cape at this time of the year.

But more than usual have been spotted over the past few weeks and he said it was suspected that these seals were from the West Coast areas and in search…


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