There are chubby harbor seal pups everywhere now, 52 so far as a matter of fact. Sometimes the pups follow their moms out of the sea to rest & nurse, but at other times the mom has to quickly turn & pursue her pup back into the sea because the pup just wants to swim & play. Harbor seal moms tap their pup’s head with their flipper to tell the pup to settle down & nurse. Some of the pups, which have nursed for weeks now are little blimps. As the pups nurse, they close their eyes in bliss & then collapse into dreamy sleep like all babies do. The mothers smile & touch noses with their pups. It’s sweet to see the darling pups with their adoring moms. Yearling seals who were born last year now lay next to the infant pups. Another generation of seals has arrived. As the pups get closer to being weaned (after 12 weeks or so), they start to hang out together on the beach. There is a chorus of pups barking for their moms. A new “Pup Club” of almost weaned seals is forming, but right now each mother & pup savors their togetherness. Once the pups are weaned they will stop calling for their mother because it will be time for them to feed and take care of themselves. It will be time for the harbor seal mothers to begin mating to produce next year’s pups. For right now though, I listen to the pup’s chorus, watch them rocket through the sea with their moms, nurse with great zeal & fall into the deep innocent sleep as all babies do. I marvel at this new life, which has been received with great joy by all the mothers of this harbor seal colony. It is such a privilege for me to observe and share the continuity and rebirth of life here. I carry this beauty in my heart.
One of the newest Harbor seal pups was being annoyed by a sea gull who thought pecking the pup’s tail might somehow be a meal. The Harbor seal mom chased the gull away several times & then decided it was time to take her pup for a swim. The pesky gull followed the pup right to the edge of the water. The pup climbed onto mom’s back & off they swam!
THIS IS THE MOST HEART WARMING HARBOR SEAL STORY! In 2013 there was a pup named “Roxy” who had a fishing line cutting into her flesh and was rescued. The line was removed and the Harbor seal pup was treated and released. Right away she swam back to the seal colony at Casa Beach and rejoined the group! Now in 2018, she has showed up at the beach with her very first birth of a Harbor seal pup, which has been named “Strummer”. It really is amazing to see the seal who was struggling now giving birth to a new member of the La Jolla Harbor seal colony.