Mom must be getting hungry. As you can see here, she has some extra skin folds around her mid-section. As pup plumps up, mom thins down. For 25 days now, mom hasn’t eaten–maybe a small reef fish here or there but no big meals. She usually likes to go out for foraging feasts, sometimes lasting a few days at a time. I always liken it to a Thanksgiving Day gorge.
As pup ages, she asserts her independence, sleeping a little farther away from mom. As pup distances herself a bit, mom is no doubt plotting her eventual escape. Don’t get me wrong. She is a good mom. Right now, though, a war is starting in her mind. One voice says, “I sure am getting hungry.” The other says, “I love my little pup.” The war will rage for another week, maybe two. One thing is sure now: The countdown for mom’s departure is on. Then, pup will be on her own. (Well, not exactly. She will still have her loyal volunteers like Lloyd, Daniel and me who will track her movements and delight every time she turns up on a nearby beach.)