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

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Purebred breeders go for a walk in Nanaimo to show off their dogs

Purebred dog breeders sometimes get a bad rap, says event organizer

City reviewing plans for huge Sandstone project in south Nanaimo

Seacliff Properties says it’s been told to be ready for a public hearing this fall

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

COVID-19 isn’t cancelling this year’s Tour de Rock

Alumni riders will cycle relay sections in their own communities

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Nanaimo RCMP community policing needs a few good volunteers

Volunteers needed to help Nanaimo RCMP and city deliver crime prevention and safety programs

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

Most Read