Leopard Seal, Cuverville Island, Antarctica

March 25, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Leopard Seal  (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, AntarcticaLeopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, AntarcticaLeopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, Antarctica
It was deeply humbling to spend a few minutes with this apex carnivore of the south polar oceans. I had a zodiac full of Adventure Canada guests as we cruised around the ice flows with their submerged parts making the water appear "swimming-pool-blue". Out of nowhere flowed this huge seal (10 ft long or so and weighing about half a ton) that circled and dove and circled again. Its demeanor suggested curiosity more than anything else. This guy's massive jaws are capable of swallowing a whole penguin so, if it chose to, it could have made quite the rent in our rubber boat. We watched, enchanted for a few minutes, but I decided not to test his mood and motored away sooner rather than later. It is such a great privilege to have a close-up encounter with an animal like this, which lives so comfortably in an environment that would cause us to perish in minutes.

Leopard Seal  (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, AntarcticaLeopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, AntarcticaLeopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, Antarctica
Leopard Seal  (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, AntarcticaLeopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, AntarcticaLeopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Leopard Seal  (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, AntarcticaLeopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, AntarcticaLeopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), Cuverville Island, Antarctica


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