A common sight during the summer months at Cape Palliser are the baby fur seals at the Fur Seal Colony on the North Island of New Zealand. At this young age the pups cannot swim so they spend their days climbing the rocks of the rookery and interacting with other pups while their mothers are out at sea feeding.
The Fur Seal colony at Cape Palliser is the largest one on the North Island of New Zealand and there are an estimated 50,000 around the entire North Island with the population still increasing. The New Zealand Fur Seal is found in Australia as well but the two populations very rarely exchange territories.
By looking at the fur on this baby seal you can tell he is still very young as they are born with a coat of long black hair which starts to disappear after about two or three months. At this time, their coat is replaced by a short grayish brown coat which will eventually turn into a dark brown as it ages.
A baby fur seal is between 55-70 centimeters in length at birth and usually weighs between 3.3 - 3.9 kilograms. The mother will start to nurse the baby after about 6-12 days and around 9 or 10 months the baby starts the weaning process. Before the fur seal is totally weaned it will begin to eat solid food but a majority of their time is spent playing with other pups and interesting items like seaweed and small fish.Cape Palliser on the North Island of New Zealand is the best place to view the fur seals and if you happen to be visiting at the right time of year, a cute baby such as this one will be looking back at you.
New Zealand Fur Seal, Arctocephalus forsteri, pup at the Cape Palliser Seal colony, Cape Palliser, Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/6.3, exposure time of 1/100 sec. on ISO 200, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 320mm.
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