Four Hundred Thousand Grey Seals Crowd Onto Sable Island Beaches Every Winter

This small crescent-shaped island off Canada’s east coast seems an unlikely place for so much action.  Amidst the howling winds and blizzards, this is where the world’s largest breeding colony of grey seals comes to mate and raise their young.

The Wild Canadian Year crew braved the weather and the feisty seals to find the perfect spot to place their 360 cameras to capture the scene. “The females are very protective of their young, and they won’t hesitate to snarl and snap at you if you get too close. And the smell was powerful, lots of pup poo in the sand and smelly breath coming from the adults nearby,” recalls researcher Graham Duggan. “It made me work quickly.”

The team had to wait patiently for the right weather as too much blowing sand, spray or snow would damage the camera rig. And the fog had to clear so the cameras could capture a good number of seals and not just the ones that were the closest. 

The seals seemed to enjoy their moment of fame. “They weren’t scared of the camera. A few were curious and got in close for a look. It made for some great footage.”

Click play on the video above to watch.

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