Cute: Photographer Gets Up Close and Personal with Baby Elephant Seals

Photographing wild gorillas is scary. Taking pictures of baby elephant seals? Not so much. In this amazingly cute video, Irish broadcaster Charlie Bird encounters a pair of friendly elephant seal pups while photographing on a beach in Antarctica. Apparently if you lie on the sand near pups, they’ll come to you to cuddle and to investigate your DSLR.

It’s not just Canons — seal pups are curious about Nikon DSLRs as well:

Here’s what Cool Antarctica says about interacting with southern elephant seals (in case you ever get a chance to):

Antarctic seals are generally completely unafraid of man despite the inglorious days of sealing when hundreds of thousands of them were killed fir their fur and/or blubber. These days the recommendation is to stay considerably further away […] The only time these seals get very upset is if you approach them walking upright […] If you get down low as this guy has done, they are pretty much unfrazzled

You’ll want to keep yourself and your camera a good distance away from the adults though: the males average 8,800lb and 19ft!

  • Jonathon Chambers

    They look like they would make cute pets. I’m not ecourging domestication of wild animals, just saying :)

  • Michael Zhang
  • hamachijohn

    I’d be worried about getting crushed…. cute though … and better than having a polar bear eat your 70-200 lens.

  • Mansgame

    awwww! Don’t they have restrictions on approaching seals in most places though?

  • Martin Rotaveria

    Get a room!

  • ├ôran Desmond

    Charlie Bird Irish not british, just sayin.

  • JJ

    Cool video, but British Broadcaster? He’s Irish and that was taken from an Irish channel, we’re no longer British, just saying.

  • Ian T Boyle

    Hi guy his a IRISH broadcaster

  • Michael Zhang

    Got it. Thanks for pointing this out guys! Sorry about that.

  • Angus

    all fun until the mother or father seal come along.. :)

  • Atlanta Owner

    You can sit still and allow one to approach you, but you are not allowed to touch or feed them. I see in the beginning where she (last video) somewhat cheated and slightly touched the face/neck of it with her fingers (a no no) but overall she obeyed the rules. The reporter did it by the book. The babies seem very friendly toward people (which can be bad if it’s bad people), but I do wonder what happens if Mom shows up during one of these encounters?

  • Elanfx

    You can find them all up along the coast in California. The, male elephant seals are extrmeley agressive – especially during mating season. Just do a search on YouTube.

  • Rogier

    Isn’t it a little sad that he’s never actually in the moment, continuing to remove himself from a wonderful experience by constantly commenting on it with obvious phrases that add nothing? I think I’d want to be quiet for a few minutes and just savor it. I guess we all live in this Brave New World now, where babble rules and every plane of reality must be filtered through our collective hypermedia sensibilities, to always be churned into Facebook-ready morsels.

  • Kaz

    Some people are so lucky to have such great jobs, fantastic pics x

  • Ralph Hightower

    Fish Breath!
    Hey, Charlie, he’s humping your leg.

  • Carlos Garcia

    I completely agree with the being quiet! But I think you are taking it to far by saying he is feeding us facebook ready morsels, he is just awkward and to concerned with being filmed to really enjoy it. Or maybe he then stayed 3 more hours in silence just enjoying the experience.