A harbour seal mom and pup have been spending time near the BRNKL seal station camera at the Oak Bay Marina. (Courtesy of Brandon Wright)

VIDEO: Seal pup and mom play and ‘kiss’ in Oak Bay Marina

BRNKL seal cam captures harbour seal growing up in busy harbour

The Oak Bay Marina’s newest resident is less than two feet long.

A harbour seal and her pup have taken to spending time at the marina near the fish cleaning station, according to Barnacle Systems Inc., a local boat security company that’s been capturing the mom and pup with a live seal cam.

The pup, which staff first noticed about two weeks ago when it was very “fresh” and “about the size of a football,” has since grown to about two feet long.

“The pup is piggybacking on the mom and nursing, now it’s playing and splashing around,” said Brandon Wright, Barnacle Systems CEO, adding that it appears many times as if the pup and its mother are giving each other kisses. The mom sometimes leaves the pup beneath the floating dock while she hunts.

The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, while happy to hear of the pup and its mom, warn the public to keep a safe distance – both for the seals and themselves.

“Pups only spend four to six weeks with their mom. They have a long way to go in a short period of time,” said Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue. “Respecting that space is hugely important.”

Akhurst said the live cam is an excellent way to get close to the wildlife.

“You can get that up close and personal look at the animal without disrespecting their space,” she said.

READ ALSO: Seal pup rescued from Willows Beach responding well to treatment

The Oak Bay company installed the seal camera last year and the livestream took off in popularity, sometimes bringing in close to 6,000 viewers at a time.

Now the pup and mom, who is known around the marina as Clarice, are drawing the adoration of both marina-users and at-home viewers.

The company’s BRNKL boat security system has been used before at the marina. Since December, BRNKL cameras have captured a boat theft, a boat fire and now – a new baby.

“Between catching baby seals and boat thefts its been a pretty neat time,” Wright said.

The live seal cam is available online at Youtube.com.

With pupping season in full swing from June to October, Akhurst reminds the public that not all unattended pups are in need of assistance.

“It is normal for pups to be by themselves,” she said. “As cute and defenceless as they look, it is natural.”

If people observe an animal they believe to be in need of assistance, they can call the Marine Mammal Rescue at 604-836-7989. To report a person disturbing a marine mammal, call the incident reporting hotline at Fisheries and Oceans Canada at 1-800-465-4336.

READ ALSO: Leave them alone: Vancouver Aquarium issues warning after several seal pups ‘disturbed’


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

oak bayseals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Trail students plan special project for Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day recognizes Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Weather warning issued for the Comox Valley

Series of storms to hit the east coast of Vancouver Island this week

Police reminding drivers about school zones, passing buses

“There is no excuse - everyone should know the kids are back to school.”

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

AAP deadline set for Courtenay bridge construction

Courtenay council has approved a Nov. 16 deadline for responses for an… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Most Read