Bruny Island Wildlife - Elephant Seal

Elephant Seal

Southern Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina) are the largest species of seals, and get their name from their elephant like snout. Male Elephant Seals can reach up to 3000kg in weight, and are 5 to 6 times heavier than the females.


Southern Elephant Seals live in Antarctic waters and spend up to 80% of their time in the water, looking for fish and squid to feed on. They migrate in search of food and are occasional visitors to Bruny Island.


Elephant Seals spend most of their time in the ocean but form breeding colonies during mating season. During mating season, male battle to be the dominant male and have the right to mate with a harem of females. 


Elephant Seals were hunted nearly to extinction for their blubber in the 19th century. They are now protected under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act, 1995.