Mike Benbow / For The Herald
A juvenile northern elephant seal has been resting on a beach on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. It has been on the beach for several days, trying to stay warm in the sand while it molts. NOAA officials posted signs to warn people to keep themselves and their dogs away.
This young seal, a female, weighs a few hundred pounds but will grow to about 1,000 pounds. Males can weigh 2,500 pounds and are the largest seal in the northern hemisphere. Elephant seals can dive 5,000 feet and stay under 80 minutes. They’re named after their big snouts, which look like an elephant’s trunk when mature. This young one has yet to develop its snout.
It’s not unusual to find young seals on the beach this time of year. They are generally resting or warming up and are not abandoned. If you find one and want to report it or if you see people harassing it, call NOAA at 800-853-1964.