Friday, May 11, 2012

Tagged seals -- and scars

Yesterday was as good day for spotting tagged seals. There's a color-coded system. Seals are tagged with a small, inch and a half, plastic tag on their hind flippers. It's so small, it's difficult to see. When they fold their flippers up, it isn't visible at all.

The numbers sometimes rub off in the abrasive sand, so that's another challenge.

But I was able to read two of the yellow tags. That's the color given to San Miguel Island, off Santa Barbara. It's a large colony.

All tag colors show up on Piedras Blancas beach. One of the tags I saw yesterday was orange, the color given to rehabilitated seals. It's always of interest what happens to seals that need to be rescued.

It was faded and I could only get three digits of the number. I recorded it in the office anyway. Perhaps it will give a scrap of information about a seal that came into care and was released.

Other than that, it was just a good day to be on the beach. The sun was warm, so the seals moved closer to the water, to sleep on the cool, wet sand.

This one was lucky to be there. He shows a great white shark scar on his belly. I don't know how they survive such devastating wounds, but there he is.

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