Late in June or early July, Pacific harbour seal pupping season is in full swing throughout the South Vancouver Island area which we luckily have a chance to experience on our kayaking Tours in Victoria BC. The pregnant female harbour seals will give birth to one seal pup after 11 months of gestation. They typically give birth on land but will occasionally ¬†give birth in the water in an emergency. The new seal pups will be around 20 lbs at birth. They range from very light grey with spots to darker grey in colour. They can swim virtually at birth and are often seen swimming on the back of their mum. The mum and baby pairs are very affectionate with each other. You can often see them touching noses or “kissing” in the water. The mother will tip her head back to connect with her youngster to confirm they are close by.

The babies grow very quickly and become very inquisitive and playful. The mother harbour seal tries to steer their pup away but the babies curiosity usually wins out. The pups will begin playing near the kayaks with the kayak rudder being of particular interest to them. Probably because it drops lower in the water than the rest of the boat. They will swim upside down, roll around and touch the rudder with their noses. It is an enchanting experience to paddle with the playful pups. The pups communicate verbally when they are young with a soft “ma”sound. They grow so quickly that they need a lot of nourishment which means lots of nursing time with mom. They can get demanding! The seal pups are weaned anywhere from eight to ten weeks after being born. They then spend a lot of their time hunting for food so we don’t see them as often. This video was taken at Seal Island which is right around the headland from our shop. This seal pup is about two weeks old.

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