Elephant Seal Pups Play with Polar Expedition Team

While taking video footage at a polar beach, an expedition team caught footage of some elephant seal pups being playful and curious about its members.

The video begins with a shot of two pups before cutting to one of them with a keen interest in the videographer’s rubber boots. The pup experiments with one boot in a manner very similar to dogs, by rubbing its mouth along it, sniffing at it and then attempting to chew on it. After getting bored with the boots, the pup rotates its neck and looks directly into the camera with puppy dog eyes before having a second go at a boot.

Another cut later and the same pup sniffs and snorts at the beach terrain for a bit. It then looks into the camera and its behavior has you wondering if it picked up a case of the hiccups or went into a sneezing fit. Another cut later and the pup decides to budge the researcher’s legs around with its nose with no resistance on the part of the videographer. The footage then jumps to another perspective of the nose-budging sequence, shot by another member of the expedition team that also shows the pup issuing a string of noises that sound like a mix between a laugh and a bark.

A third team member calls to the pup like a dog, drawing its interest and encouraging it to sniff him. As penguins walking along the background, the seal pup begins examining a camera tripod in the same manner that it analyzed the scientist’s rubber boots. Worried that the pup might damage the tripod, the third scientist moves it out of the pup’s reach on more than one occasion. A male adult seal calls out and at least one of the pups returns communication. At this point, both pups have taken interest in the third researcher who playfully tries to talk with one when it makes noises to his face.