Seal spotted taking rest 2000 km from home

2015-05-05 09:58
The seal resting at Umhlanga beach this past weekend.

The seal resting at Umhlanga beach this past weekend. (Supplied)

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AN adult male sub Antarctic seal was spotted on the rocks in front of the Umhlanga Lighthouse this past weekend, 2 000 km away from his home.

Although underweight, he appeared not to be injured and was seen resting on the rocks.

“We anticipate his rest will be broken when the tide comes in later today [yesterday]. He will either return to the sea or move onto the beach,” said Steven J. Brown of uShaka Marine World.

Brown said for most marine animals other than seals that strand in KZN, it is a definite sign they are not in good health. It is not in their best interest to return to the water before they have been assessed and if necessary treated. “However, seals are often in good health when they come ashore in KZN. [They come] merely to rest after a tiring swim from the southern Cape or even as far as Marion and Prince Edward islands.

“They usually return to the ocean once they have rested. It is therefore really important not to disturb the seal and to leave it to recover before it begins its epic journey home,” he said.

Brown said it is up to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife members to determine the best action for these animals, that is if the animal is injured or sick, it might be best to transport it to uShaka Sea World rehabilitation facility or in the case of birds to CROW.

He said that in KZN, three major natural events bring an increased number of marine animals to our coastline: the sardine run (April to July), the whale migration (May to October) and the turtle nesting season (October to March).

If you find a stranded animal on the beach, please contact Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (24-hour hotline) at 083 380 6298 with a full description of the animal and the exact location of the stranding. — Witness Reporter

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