A seal of approval for Bronte
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.