The Amazing Adventures of Arcto
3rd February 2017 - Arcto is currently just offshore one of the islands in the south Shetlands chain called Montagu Istagu Island – his position is 2.4 nautical miles offshore of the island. South Shetlands is 6,575 kilometres from South Africa.
Arcto, a young adult, was found on a beach at Port Edward (lower KZN south coast) on the 14th June 2016. He spent 6 months in uShaka Sea World’s rehabilitation facility gaining 43 kilograms which brought him to an ideal release weight.
Antarctic Fur Seals are naturally found at Antarctica with the closest colonies to Port Edward being about 1800km away at Marion (in the Prince Edward Islands) and 2400 kilometres away at the Crozet Archipelago. The reasons for their wandering ways are not well understood.
As this was the first time that an Antarctic Fur Seal had been treated in human care in South Africa, uShaka Sea World staff took the opportunity to learn as much as they possibly could whilst he was in their care. His weight gain, growth, length, behaviour and feeding patterns were recorded.
Before he was released 25 nautical miles off Port Elizabeth he was fitted with a satellite tag by Mike Meyer, (Dept of Environmental Affairs), Greg Hofmeyer (Bayworld) and Dr Francois Lampen (uShaka Sea World).