A seal of ap­proval for Bronte

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

BRONTE Beach was given the seal of ap­proval yes­ter­day — another sign Sydney’s seal pop­u­la­tion is slowly in­creas­ing.

A ju­ve­nile New Zealand fur seal wob­bled into the pop­u­lar east­ern sub­urbs beach in the morn­ing to sun­bake on the rocks — much to the de­light of beach­go­ers who snapped pho­tos of the ma­rine mam­mal.

The seal was happy to re­lax un­der blue spring skies and spent most of the day on the sun-warmed rocks.

The tem­per­a­ture reached a top of 21C, but that was plenty for an an­i­mal with a gen­er­ous layer of blub­ber.

Seals have be­come a more com­mon sight for Syd­neysiders in re­cent years, with pro­tec­tion boost­ing the num­ber of NSW fur seals by 19 per cent each year.

“We get a dozen or more calls a day to re­port seal sight­ings on the east coast and it’s the same on the west coast,” ma­rine mam­mal vol­un­teer res­cue group OR­RCA pres­i­dent Ronny Ling said.

“It’s in­cred­i­ble to see these an­i­mals re­cov­er­ing in num­bers. It’s slow and we would like to see as many as we did in the early to mid-1800s.”

Fur seal num­bers were de­stroyed by hunters sup­ply­ing the fur in­dus­try in the 1800s, with the pop­u­la­tion fall­ing from sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand to around 20,000.

The fur seal at Bronte.

The seal stayed all day.

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