Photo by @bertiegregory. A group of Antarctic fur seal pups wait impatiently for their mothers on Bird Island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Having given birth to these pups just a few weeks earlier, the mothers leave for 5-8 days at a time. During the wait the pups bleat like little sheep!
These fur seals are a great conservation success story. After Captain Cook put South Georgia on the map in 1775, he sent word back to England of enormous numbers of seals. A brutal massacre then followed peaking in 1800 when 112,000 pelts were taken in just a single season. This harvest continued until the seals were hunted down to just 400 individuals. Since then, they've had protection and have bounced back to over 3 million! Shot as part of a new online series for National Geographic coming soon. We owe an enormous thank you to the British Antarctic Survey for their support on this project. Please search for their work- it's fascinating science making a real difference. Follow @bertiegregory for more wildlife adventures!