Africa's 5th Leopard Seal!
Text and photos by: Trevor Hardaker

On Wednesday, 17 August 2005, a Leopard Seal Hydrurga leptonyx was located in the Hout Bay harbour area near to Cape Town. Based on available information, there are 4 previous records of this species on the continent - one previously at Hout Bay, one at Bortjiesdrif near Cape Point, one at Jutten Island and one near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

Leopard Seals occur widely in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. They are most abundant in pack ice and fast-ice habitats closer to the continent, especially along the Antarctic Peninsula. They regularly occur at South Georgia, the Falkland Islands, Macquarie, South Orkney, South Shetland and Kergeulen Islands, especially in September and October and occasionally also occur at Marion Island. Vagrants have also been reported from South America, Australia and New Zealand.

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