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Rare video captures birth of elephant seal near Victoria


A nature photographer and volunteer at a marine ecological reserve near Victoria has captured video of the moment a northern elephant seal was born off Vancouver Island.

Derek Sterling is a volunteer with the Ecoguardian program at Pearson College UWC who has been living at the Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve southwest of Victoria.

"I literally shot this footage from the doorway of the Ecoguardian residence on the island," said Sterling in a release from the college Tuesday.

The 73-second video was shared with CTV News and posted on the college's YouTube channel after it was filmed on Friday. 

Pearson College spokesperson Brian Geary told CTV News that Ecoguardians like Sterling typically spend anywhere from a few weeks to several months living on the group of small islands that is sometimes referred to as the "Galapagos of the North" due to the variety of marine life the area attracts.

The marine reserve is the most northerly birthing colony for the northern elephant seal on the Pacific Coast of North America, according to the college.

The area also serves as a birthing ground for harbour seals and a gathering place for northern and California sea lions.

Race Rocks was designated a provincial ecological reserve in 1980, restricting public access to the islands.

The college took over management of a historic lighthouse on the main island in 1997. Top Stories

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