Leopard seal discovered in WCape

2010-07-17 16:14

A fishing biologist this week made a rare find when he bumped into

a leopard seal in Gansbaai in the Western Cape.

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust’s marine biologist Katja Vinding

Petersen came face to face with a leopard seal about 40km from Gansbaai.

There are a few sightings of the second largest species of seal in

the Antarctic – after the Southern Elephant Seal on the South African


The trust, which conserves the marine eco-system in the Southern

parts of Africa, said: “Leopard seals are known to be fast and agile, even on

land and can be highly aggressive towards humans.”

The leopard seal was in a poor condition and appeared


“It was resting in the sun and did not move much. There were no

wounds and no signs of entanglement in any fishing gear. Its teeth and gums

looked healthy.”

The animal was about two metres in length, indicating that it was a

juvenile, but Petersen could not determine its sex, as he did not want to

disturb it.

The seal was hauled out against a sand dune at the high water mark

and disappeared overnight.

Various organisations including the government’s Oceans and Coasts

department were called to find the animal, but it could not be found.

The trust called on anyone who spots leopard seal to call 082 907


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.