This Mom had three pups when i got there that morning. There have been lots of high tides which was resulting in pups separated from their mom's and it being hard to find her pup. I noticed one pup alone on the far side of the beach and as it seemed to notice this Mom with the three pups, it was almost as if I could read it's mind. The pup seemed to be thinking that she might not even notice one more, lol. Again, it looks like she is a super Mom but chances of her being able to sustain feeding all these pups is very, very unlikely. She will probably either wean them before they are fully ready and have enough blubber to make it through the time they will be on the beach before they leave to go to sea themselves. Or she will make herself sick and possibly die from losing too much weight. If she loses two pounds for every one that the pup gains, then you multiply this by four times and you do the math.
For some reason, even though the tide was super rough, she took the pups towards the surf line and into the waves as seen here in the pictures. The beach was super crowded because the high tide has pushed all the seals into the little bit of beach that was left out of the surf line. The pups kept being buffeted around by the waves but she did not bring that back out of the surf line.
And in the middle of all this, the bull decided he needed to see if she was ready to mate. This made the pups scatter. When they were next to her she would at least at times be able to block the waves some. I was worried that she would not be able to get the whole crew back since so many mom's did not seem to be able to find one pup when they were separated much less four.
But her pups were anxiously waiting on her and came scooching over to her once the male finally gave up and left her alone. However, I did watch the male come back about an hour later when the tide was down and she was back on the beach and mate with her. From talking to the docents, the female usually only spends another two days on the beach. Once again, i wish i could spend more time trying to observe all that is going on on the beach. Too many questions without good answers. But none of these pups are anywhere near being ready to be weaned. One could hope that they would be able to find other mom's maybe able to feed them on and off enough to survive. One can hope!!!!