PROTECTION FOR SAN DIEGO HARBOR SEALS DURING THE PUPPING SEASON

February 2014 Art Journal - 28 WATERMARK 2

The City of San Diego has now approved the closure of Casa Beach to all people during the 5 month pupping season, which is from December 15 to May 15.  This will be effective in 2015 as the California Coastal Commission has to also approve this, but it is expected to be approved. This closure & protection for the harbor seal pups has taken more than a decade to get approval.  The beach closure means that starting on December 15, 2014, the pregnant harbor seals will be able to rest during the final phase of their pregnancy, give birth in peace on the beach and nurse their pups in a calm and restful environment without human interference.  The harbor seal pupping season is in full swing right now and 40 pups have been born this pupping season.  To celebrate protection for the pups here are some photos of the adorable pups born so far this year.  Enjoy!

The pup on the right still has an umbilical cord, which is a sign that this pup is only a few days old.

It’s so hard to decide which harbor seal pup is the cutest.  When I saw this one still covered with its fluffy lanugo fur, I thought he looked like a little lamb!   & here’s another “Lamby-Pie” pup.

& this seal with it’s shoe-button eyes and darling face makes me think of a Steiff stuffed animal, although stuffed animals can’t bite you the way even a tiny harbor seal pup can.

Darling 2-day old pup 3-1-2014 WATERMARK

This pup is only 2 days old.  Welcome to the world!

Seals use rocks as pillows.  Even this tiny newborn knew the potential of this little rock.

Newborn with umbilical cord 2-25-2014

This tiny seal pup is only a few hours old.

Another newborn seal pup on the beach succumbs to a yawn & nap. Baby seal pups require a lot of time to rest and nurse on the beach.  It’s hard work being a little newborn pup.

A Chorus of Pups Calling 3-17-2014

These days the beach is filled with tiny harbor seal pups who call for their moms in a chorus of small woof-like noises, which sort of sounds like “Moooommm”.  Sometimes the moms leave the pups on the beach to go out fishing to feed themselves.  The pups may get impatient for mom to return and they call and call for their mom to come back, but sometimes the pups will call even when their mom is right next to them.  It is a choir of seal pup music on the beach these days.

Born this morning 3-8-2014

This newborn was born this morning !  Leaving the seal pups each day is always so hard.  Every day they grow bigger and bigger and the pupping season will soon come to a close for this spring.  Enjoying the babies every day now is a huge priority for me. 

Here’s yet another adorable pup.  How can I go home now?  Just another few hours.

So my house is not quite clean, my meals are cans of soup, I skip art classes, avoid just about anything I possibly can and just go to the beach every day for hours and hours. Friends leaving messages resignedly say “You’re probably at the beach”.  It is a seal pup obsession.  Aren’t I lucky?  Yes, indeed. 

Darling happy pup 3-27-2014

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