The elephant seal beaches are filling up now. We have 33 cows on Sand Flat, 10 cows on Mirounga Beach, and 6 on the Marine Terrace with 27 pups altogether. Nero is still alpha bull on Sand Flat, with Salvatore loitering nearby, but never challenging the big-nose. Rusty and Aubrey had a big 20 minute fight, but neither has a harem now, so the outcome is questionable. Don Francisco is with the Mirounga Beach harem, and Bedlam Boy is with the Terrace harem.
The first cow-pup drama of the season was started by the abandonment of pup -46 by its mother. She then caused some mayhem by trying to steal the newly born pups of cows -51 and -57. In the melee, the pup of -57 was killed. Cows -51 and -57 shared the remaining pup for a couple days before -51 claimed sole rights. -57 has been wandering around trying to adopt a pup, but without success. -46 is also roaming about, trying to steal pups, continuing to cause disturbance. Meanwhile, the abandoned pup of -46 has been severely bitten in the head, but was adopted by Schnitzel. Schnitzel hasn't nursed the adoptee much, but it is still alive and alert. Two of the three pups born on Mirounga Beach have died after being crushed or bitten by other seals. The crowded and high traffic area is very tough on the new pups there.
For those readers keeping a score card, the newly-arrived cows that haven't yet been mentioned in this blog include: Grasshopper, Daphna, Arwen, Lynne R., and Galadriel.