Selso, the young Sea Elephant who was found stranded, exhausted and starving, on a South African beach in June 2013 was then successfully rehabilitated at uShaka Marine World and fitted with a Satellite tracking device and with the help of MSC Cruises released on 11 January 2014, 25 nautical miles due south of Port Elizabeth.
It took no more than two days once released for Selso to get his bearings and head in the right direction. His epic journey took him steadily southwards covering a distance of over 8,000 kilometres in just under six months.
After a successful return to Marion Island having spent 169 days at sea, Selso occupied the island for a limited time before leaving it again.
Selso made the journey back to South Africa and was washed ashore in the late afternoon of 15 November 2014, in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve. Selso was taken to Bayworld in Port Elizabeth for a check-up. Having begun his annual moult and about to lose the satellite tracker, scientists were anxious to reattach the satellite once the animal finished its moult.
Scientists are not sure why Selso has returned to the South African Coast line. Southern Elephant Seals normally inhabit the Southern Ocean with the closest island colony site being Marion Island, located some 2,200km south of South Africa, it is therefore unusual for a young seal to strand on SA shores two consecutive times.
During his stay at Bayworld Selso will be offered the same diet as the one he was given at uShaka Sea World and hopefully will gain some weight. Scientists will take samples of his fur to establish what he has been feeding on and interesting data will be downloaded from his tracker.
MSC Cruises has once again extended its services in the release of the seal at sea.