: : wildlife photography through the lens of an animator : :

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sammy - the beautiful, friendly seal who often visits Hobart's waterfront

I have been thinking of posting some photos of Sammy, just to fill a void. Although he is so popular with tourists and locals, Google image searches find only mediocre pictures and very few of them.

Sammy is a star. A very photogenic star who deserves better online presence.
So I decided to do a one off, break the silence and share some of my hundreds of photos of him with all the seal lovers, shooting with their smartphone cameras and then feeling frustrated that "It just looked so much better there!".

I've been photographing Sammy fairly regularly in the last 15 months, whenever I get a chance to spot him. Unfortunately don't have any photos of him from the time of my first Hobart period, 10 years ago. There was a whole year when I did not have any camera at the time and then when I bought my 30D, he was gone. Then I had to go too.

I always wonder if he is the same seal. And when I think about it, I always decide he is, because it is such a complicated route up the estuary and he is so incredibly relaxed and comfortable in the waters of Constitution Dock.
I love the huge range of facial expressions he has - the curiosity and intelligence in his eyes.

But make no mistake! Sammy is there for the free lunch and does not really care about anything else. I've tried to make noises to attract his attention. No chance. He is hypnotized by the guy with the long ginger beard who cleans fish and gives him treats. That's why most photos are in profile.

There is another thing that I am not quite certain about. After much reading and looking at images, I think that he is a New Zealand Fur Seal, rather than an Australian Fur Seal, but I can't be 100% sure. If anyone can help me with the ID, please post in the comments.
New Zealand Fur Seal, Tasmania
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