Selso the seal is spotted on Marion Island

On 4 November 2015 while Marine Research Institute (MRI) researchers John Dickens and Benoit Morkel were conducting a census on the northern Marion Island beaches, they came across Selso the elephant seal resting quietly on the beach.

There was no mistaking it was Selso as he was still sporting his distinctive satellite tag on his head and a single flipper tag bearing his identification number. He was looking particularly healthy, having gained an enormous amount of weight since he was last seen after his second release from uShaka Sea World following rehabilitation.

Selso in November 2015, looking fit and healthy on Marion Island

Although he was not showing any visible signs of moulting and still looked very handsome, he should start his six-week moulting period within the next few weeks. During this time he has to remain out of the water and becomes fully dependent on his fat reserves.

Staff at uShaka Sea World who were instrumental in the elephant seal's rehabilitation were delighted to hear that Selso was doing so well as his transmitter had stopped transmitting in May this year and he had not been sighted since July 2015.

The researchers removed the malfunctioning satellite tag and obtained blood and fur samples before Selso headed out to sea the following morning. The Marion Island researchers will be looking out for Selso over the next few weeks as we hope he will return once again to Marion Island once his moult starts.

Read about Selso's long association with uShaka Sea World, from the first time he was rescued as a young, emaciated seal pup.

Selso was in a pathetic state on arrival at uShaka Sea World in June 2013

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