There’s a seal on the beach - what now?
Cape Fur Seals often come out of the ocean to rest on rocks or the beach.
It is in their nature to do so and they can spend a long time (sometimes days) out of the water. Usually there is nothing wrong with them and as they can be extremely dangerous, it is best to leave them alone and keep a safe distance of at least 10m.
What not to do
Do not touch or try to remove the seal
Do not try to feed the seal or give it water to drink
Do not throw water over the seal or try to cover it with towels or clothing
Do not try to take a "selfie" on or close to the seal
Keep all dogs away from the seal.
What to do
Call Smart (Stranded Marine Animal Rescue Team) at 072 227 4715 only if:
There is a lot of blood around the seal
There are bones sticking out due to injuries
There are flesh from severe wounds hanging out
It is entangled in fishing line or nets
Take a cellphone photo of the injuries and send to Smart.
Send a GPS location so that Smart can reach the seal as soon as possible.
Healthy animals will not be taken from the beach or escorted to the ocean. They will go back whenever they feel like it.
It is illegal to harass the animal in any way. All marine mammals are protected by law and offenders will be prosecuted under the Animal Protection Act no 71 of 1962 for animal abuse.
Article written by Tersia Marais, chairperson: Mossel Bay Smart.