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06/04/2010

Fur Seals, Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Namibia


This photo is showing a Brown Fur Seal (also known as the Cape Fur Seal) and was taken at Cape Cross Seal Reserve, in Namibia.
With a surrounding area of 60 km2, the Cape Cross Seal Reserve was proclaimed in 1968 to protect the biggest and best known of the 23 colonies of Cape fur seals which breed along the coast of South Africa and Namibia. The reserve is situated approximately 130 km north of Swakopmund, and 1,000 miles from the southern tip of Africa. The Cape fur seal, Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus, is the largest of the world's nine fur seal species. During the November/ December breeding season as many as 340 000 of these animals gather at Cape Cross at one time.
It was here at Cape Cross that the Portuguese navigator
Diogo Cão, on his second expedition to Africa south of the equator, erected a stone cross in 1486. Two replicas of this cross can presently be viewed at the site where the original one was erected. Also at Cape Cross is a small lichen reserve, where a relatively large variety of these interesting and slow-growing organisms are protected. Bird islands off the coast at the seal reserve are also protected.

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