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Les Leyne: Moulting attention hound needs some tough love

I regret to inform you that it’s time to drop all the celebrity camera hogging and go back to the ocean where you belong.
Emerson the elephant seal stretches out on Beach Drive near the Oak Bay Marina on April 24. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

“The two-year-old elephant seal, who seems to love moulting in very public places around the capital, crossed Beach Drive over the weekend to lounge on an apartment lawn — and stop, smell and squish some tulips.” Times Colonist, Wednesday.

Dear Emerson:

This note might sound a little harsh, but it’s for your own good, you adorable little brat.

I regret to inform you that it’s time to drop all the celebrity camera hogging and go back to the ocean where you belong.

You’ve played the: “Oooh look everybody I’m moulting, I can do whatever I want!” card a few too many times. Your shtick is getting old.

Maybe being a toddler, and from the U.S., means you have no inhibitions and feel a ­compulsion to share everything you do with everyone. But you’re in Canada now. We are a ­reticent, quiet people. If we feel the need to moult, we do it in the privacy of our own homes, with the curtains drawn.

With all due regard for your elephant-seal lived ­experience, here’s a tip: Catastrophic ­moulting is disgusting.

All the other seals know this. So they go find some remote beaches and do it privately.

But you go out of your way to do it as flamboyantly as ­possible. And I’ve noticed you always stay within wi-fi range. You’re ­turning into something I abhor — a spoiled, self-absorbed, celebrity social-media ­influencer.

I admit I laughed out loud when you showed up back in the city barely a week after they trucked you clear up to Barkley Sound to get rid of you. ­Especially because it was the second time in a few months you’ve pulled that stunt.

But it was a sardonic laugh, like how I laughed at Elton John’s fifth farewell tour.

I’m starting to think this has nothing to do with moulting. It’s about you being an attention addict who will do anything to get clicks. Donald Trump has more modesty than you do.

Willows Beach is a place for quiet contemplation, not for shedding all shyness and most of your skin, then sashaying around like you’re at the Cannes Film Festival.

Maybe I’m a bit jealous. I’ll never be able to afford Oak Bay waterfront, so I resent ­watching some hobo seal move in and live wherever he wants. You’re acting like a foreign real estate buyer. We hate foreign buyers.

Also, we Victorians have to memorize a 100-year-old ­migratory bird protection law, follow pages of rules and scan constantly for animal control officers just to walk a fluffy little lapdog anywhere near a beach these days. But when a 200-kilogram seal flops by — off leash, with no licence! — half the uniformed officials in the city join his entourage and cater to his every whim.

It’s not fair.

With $2-a-litre gas and hotel rates soaring, it would cost me a fortune to do a weekend ­getaway on the west coast of the Island.

They’ve comped you two of them in the past few months. And now they’ve built a shiny, new heavy-duty, double-welded aluminum trailer for you. So your next little junket will include limousine service.

Here’s the main problem: The first time you showed up last year, officials pegged your weight at about 130 kilograms.

Now they put you at about 210 kilograms.

Then I read that full-length feature about you in the ­Washington Post a few weeks ago. (Congratulations to your image consultants for getting even more media play.)

It said: “Approaching ­Emerson is a safety risk, because elephant seals can carry contagious diseases and weigh more than 1,800 kilograms when they’re fully grown.”

We’re going to have to build a new ferry for you if this keeps up. You are wearing out your ­welcome, pal.

It’s time to hump off.

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