baby Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) Photographed in Cape Cross, Namibia

Daily Creature 73: Cape Fur Seal

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baby Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) Photographed in Cape Cross, Namibia

Cape Fur Seal

(Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)

This pup was born at the largest mainland Cape Fur Seal breeding colony in the world: Cape Cross in Namibia.

The Cape Fur Seal is only found on the coastline of Southern Africa and is one of two subspecies of the Brown Fur Seal. The other subspecies, the Australian Fur Seal, is only found on the southern coast of Australia.

Visiting the Cape Fur Seal Reserve at Cape Cross is an amazing experience. (My first visit inspired me to write the short story Cape Curse.) We were surrounded by fur seals in every direction. But it was tinged with sadness when I learned of the horrifying practice of “culling” baby seals for use in the fur industry, and the slaughter of adult bulls to use their genitalia in traditional eastern medicine (source SeaShepherd.org)

If you want to send a message to the Namibian government that you don’t support the seal slaughter, then consider skipping Cape Cross as a tourist destination. Instead, try kayaking with the seals in Walvis Bay, or snorkeling with seals near Cape Town, South Africa.

The small dark bodies are the seal pups and the larger light-colored ones are the mother Cape Fur Seals. Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Namibia
The small dark bodies are the seal pups and the larger light-colored ones are the mother Cape Fur Seals. Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Namibia

When you view Cape Cross on satellite view in Google Maps you can actually see the thousands of seals dotting the shoreline!

Cape Fur Seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Namibia.
Cape Fur Seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Namibia.

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