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Photos: Elephant seals near Piedras Blancas lighthouse

A mother elephant seal nurses one pup while another slaps her in the face with a flipper. The seals spend much of their time conserving energy napping on the beach.
A mother elephant seal nurses one pup while another slaps her in the face with a flipper. The seals spend much of their time conserving energy napping on the beach. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Winter is birthing season for elephant seals, so pups and moms and an occasional bull seal can be seen at their favorite beach spot near the Piedras Blancas lighthouse.

Birthing starts in December and peaks in January, according to the Friends of the Elephant Seal. Pups nurse for four weeks and can gain 10 pounds a day.

Human viewers and their dogs are advised to keep a safe distance from the seals and watch from the bluff off Highway 1.

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