CAPE TOWN - A teenager survived a seal attack when a group of youngsters swam up to the seal to try and touch the animal at Strand Beach on Saturday.
The teenager received medical treatment while the seal involved in the incident is now being monitored by the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs (NDFFE).
“The monitoring is needed because the seal has become used to people due to various groups feeding it fish at Harbour Island and the Gordon’s Bay Harbour,” said the City.
The City has reminded the public that seals are wild animals and should not be approached, or touched; feeding wild animals habituate them to people which is harmful to the animal, as well as the public and that no one should feed a seal.
“Seals in general do not pose a threat to people if left alone and not harassed. Respecting wildlife and giving them adequate space will ensure that we can share the natural environment with them. Should a seal approach you, you are advised to simply back away slowly and leave the animal alone,” said the City.
The incident came after a local spearfishermen was attacked by what was believed to be a leopard seal off the False Bay coastline recently.
Veteran spearfishermen Jerome Petersen, 50, from Stellenbosch, along with Josua Joubert, 40, from Bloubergstrand and Cameron Vannithing, 24, from Strand, encountered the aggressive seal while spearfishing on September 26.
Petersen had recalled something yanking at his ankle about 400 metres off-shore between Spaniard Rock and Caravan Reef, near Miller’s Point.
The seal then attacked them relentlessly and kept on trying to bite them as they desperately tried to get back to the shore to safety.
While battling against the seal under water for about 30 minutes, Petersen suffered bite wounds and abrasions