This female shows scars from a past shark attack. The peeling skin of her companions is the normal molt elephant seals experience annually.
Follicles of the old skin dissolve, uncovering the new skin underneath. Although it looks like something that would be itchy, the seals don’t take much notice of it.
Last week, one of the weaners was observed wearing a dog collar. Whatever the motive for dressing an elephant seal as a pet may have been, the results are tragic. A constricting collar will become progressively tighter as the animal grows, slowly killing it.
The single most important function of the elephant seal viewpoint is public education. I hope that over time, such careless harm will eventually become unthinkable.