By: Ann Kunz
A month has passed since we posted the story on Dobby the elephant seal who was found on Gavies beach which is situated on the Bluff, Durban A lot has happened during this time and Dobby is a changed seal.
He spent the first week in rehab lying with his back turned away from us trying to be an innocuous as was possible. Although it is normal for stranded seals to take a while to adjust to their new surroundings, Dobby took longer than most seals. It was not until after Ragnar left that he slowly started to take an interest in his surroundings, the lure of the pool and the smell of food.
However, once he did there was no turning back. Staff arriving at work in the carpark are greeted by Dobby’s bellows for their attention. His demanding bellows can be heard 100 meters from the rehabilitation facility and no-one can concentrate until his demands have been met. His is quite a character and has gained 11.4Kgs over the past three weeks. He enjoys a variety of fish which is offered to him three times a day. He is a fast learner and although we remain out of sight when feeding him in the pool he has made the association of food with humans. We are having to go back to the drawing board to work on our feeding tactic.
The wound on his chin has healed well and although he is making good progress towards attaining his release goal weight, he will need to remain in rehab until he has completed his moult. We estimate that this process will take another couple of months.
He spends his day chilling at the pool, charming the staff and curiously investigating life as it unfolds around him. We trust that he will continue to thrive in our care and look forward to the day that he is given his release papers.
We will keep you updated.