Selso the lost seal fit, fat and back at home

2014-07-10 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — Fat and healthy.

That’s how lost elephant seal Selso, who washed up in KwaZulu-Natal last June, arrived at his true home of Marion Island this year after an 8 000 trip.

When Selso was found at South­broom on the South Coast, he weighed just 70 kg. After six months of rehabilitation at uShaka Marine World in Durban, he weighed a full 200 kg and was ready to attempt the migration to the sub-Antarctic island.

He was taken on the cruise ship MSC Sinfonia to Port Elizabeth, where the colder water of Algoa Bay was more suitable for his release back to the sea.

Before Selso’s release, a satellite transmitter was fixed to his head so his journey could be tracked.

Now, after 169 days and a rather roundabout 8 000 km trip, Selso has been seen on Marion Island, where South Africa has a research base.

“The researchers on the island have seen Selso and say he looks fit and well, and fat,” said Bayworld marine biologist Dr Greg Hofmeyr.

He has been following the weekly ­reports from Selso’s transmitter with interest. “The good news is that Selso didn’t just go straight to Marion Island [2 200 km from PE], but made a wide detour and still survived,” Hofmeyr said.

According to the satellite records, Selso first visited the Antarctic ice shelf before turning back north.

“The report indicates that Selso crossed one area several times, probably because there was a dense chokka population there on which he fed,” said Hofmeyr.

The satellite shows that Selso has once again taken to the sea, but Hofmeyr says he hopes the seal will return to Marion when he is moulting, because that is a vulnerable time for any marine animal.

“And maybe he would shuck off the R16 000 transmitter, so we could re-use it for another project,” Hofmeyr added.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.