So looking at these pictures later, i was able to see how the Mom would be even more confused that i had originally thought. I knew as I was taking the pictures that the pup was near and i had wondered if she would get bonded to the wrong pup. As i had mentioned in an earlier post, I saw a harbor seal do this. But this Mom had even more of an excuse since the stray pup would have been all mixed in with the scents of the Mom and her actual pup. And this Mom, even the next day was depending both pups and feeding both.
Unlike the harbor seal Mom, who bonded with the wrong pup and then abandoned her own pup. this was easy to tell because the pup she bonded with was an older pup and not the same color as her pup. However, I do wish i could have stayed down at San Simone to have tried to follow the Mom and pups to see how it turned out.
I will be going back for several days after the first of the month, but I do not know if I will be able to find or even know if I am watching the same Mom and pups. They would be almost weening age by that time.