Wildlife - Tina Arnold

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Juvenile elephant seals

.Juvenile elephant seals haul out and go through their molting process in Washington State.
Molting is a natural condition that takes 4-5 weeks to complete. Some animals will have skin lesions covering their body, this condition is called scabby molt. This condition attracts birds; they will peck at the lesions making the condition of the animal look even worse. Elephant seals are vulnerable during molting and some will not survive. You can expect to see this seal haul out along the shoreline for several weeks, occasionally entering the water and returning to the same area again. Hauling out allows the skin to warm up and help speed up the molting process.
Elephant seals are the largest seals in the northern hemisphere! This species migrates twice a year to sandy beaches in California or Mexico to mate and give birth and then returns to foodrich waters for feeding. Northern elephant seals have the ability to dive to 5000 ft. and remain underwater for up to 80 minutes while feasting on a variety of sea creatures. This includes squid, octopus, small sharks, crabs, fish, and other species. NOAA

8782Juvenile elephant sealsOlympic National ParkOzetteHiking BackpackingWashingtonMoltingTina ArnoldLakeside Photography