PICS: Leopard seal spotted on Cape Town beach, residents cautioned

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The leopard seal which came ashore on Milnerton beach. (Supplied)
The leopard seal which came ashore on Milnerton beach. (Supplied)

Residents of Milnerton, Cape Town, have been warned to exercise caution following the sighting of a leopard seal, which came ashore near the lagoon.

On Wednesday, the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, warned residents and beachgoers not to go near the animal while it was ashore.

At the same time, safety measures have been put in place while the leopard seal remains on land.

"We are asking the public to please keep a safe distance from the leopard seal and to ensure their dogs are on a leash at all times," said Nieuwoudt.

She added it was unusual for a leopard seal to move out of its primary habitat on the Antarctic pack ice and land up on Cape shores.

And as much as it is a welcome site, leopard seals remain "predators and should be considered dangerous, especially to children and pets".

A section of the beach has been cordoned-off in the interest of public safety, while the City, in consultation with the environmental affairs department, has decided to leave the animal alone and let it move off when ready.

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