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leopard seal

A rare sighting

A rare sighting

Leopard seals (

Hydrurga leptonyx

) are solitary animals that inhabit the pack-ice surrounding Antarctica. They have a fearsome reputation as top predators and eat almost anything from fish to elephant seals. Although they are mainly found in Antarctica, every so often a few venture North to see what the sub-Antarctic islands have on the menu.

The other day Chris was doing an elephant seal census from base to Repettos when he came across a juvenile leopard seal sleeping on the cobbles. That evening he radio'd us the news and the next morning Ryan, Maelle and I set off early to catch a glimpse of this incredible creature.

When we got to King Penguin Bay we found him sound asleep on a bed of kelp and were all quite stoked that he hadn't changed his spots.