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

WildWings Festival pandemic edition coming to Cowichan in October

Three outdoor events, two reception-free art shows, and one small indoor workshop.

Jr. B season could start Oct. 1, says VIJHL president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Flashback: Trips around the lake, to Japan, and on a dangerous highway

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Drivesmart column: Are slow drivers breaking the law?

When I am behind a driver that is going slower it bothers me.

Cowichan’s 49ers just miss fourth Grover Cup

Since the 49ers were founded, the team had never lost a Tony Grover Cup final

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

B.C. marriage annulled because husband was unable to have sex with wife

Husband did not disclose any sexual health concerns to his wife prior to marriage

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted with Black Lives Matter slogan

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

B.C. VOTES 2020: B.C. Liberals vow to eliminate sales tax for a year

From 7% to zero, then back in at 3% to stimulate economy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island couple’s sheep farm dream disrupted by high lumber price

The solar powered farm project in Sayward will be set back by three years if the lumber price continues to remain high

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Most Read