Green Tie, an elephant seal bull who was initially rescued from plastic entangled around his neck in 2011 is back on the north beach at Piedras Blancas. He's easily recognizable because of the unique double scar from the green plastic that cut deep into his flesh.
Rescuers gave him the name after freeing him from the plastic. He got attention in 2012 and 2013, when his scar looked as if it might still have foreign material in it. He was sedated so that the veterinarian could examine him. She determined that the skin was inflamed, a skin fold dermatitis, that posed no threat to him.
In 2011, his weight was estimated at 700 pounds, making him one of the largest seals ever rescued. In 2013, rescuers estimated him at 1,100 pounds. He's really big now, certainly well over a ton.
I use him as a teaching animal, explaining to visitors how this happened and what it took to save his life. He's my ambassador for clean oceans.
Being able to recognize an individual makes him feel special. And, in his own way, cute. I wonder whether he will rule a harem this year and mate.