The seal that had been spotted on Durban beaches had been captured by wildlife authorities and moved to Mpenjati Nature Reserve Beach on the South Coast. Picture: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

Durban

The adult male sub-Antarctic fur seal which was spotted on Durban’s sandy beaches earlier this week was captured on Tuesday and relocated to Mpenjati Nature Reserve beach, 20km from Margate.

The seal came ashore at uMhlanga near the lighthouse three weeks ago, and basked on the rocks.

Then, on Monday, he came ashore at Addington and New Beach during the day.

Wildlife experts said the seal wanted to rest.

James Wood, of Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, said they could not be sure if it was the same seal spotted on uMhlanga Beach, because they had no physical contact with it.

“We tried to catch it, but it gave us the slip. Staff kept a watch on the beaches and netted it safely when it came ashore in the early hours of the morning. It had to be relocated for its own safety,” he said, adding that people were getting close to the seal and taking pictures of it.

Wood said the beach at Mpenjati Nature Reserve would enable the seal to have the rest he needed and hopefully, he would swim back to the Antarctic region.

“The seal was not injured,” Wood said. He was in a good condition. He had quite a lot of food to eat and weighs about 50kg. The seal was aggressive towards us. They normally stay for a few days to recuperate.”

Durban’s Seaworld spokeswoman, Ann Kunz, said the seal was in good health, otherwise it would have been admitted to a rehabilitation centre for treatment.

People were urged to keep their distance from marine wildlife that comes ashore. If you come across a stranded or beached mammal, contact Ezemvelo’s 24-hour hotline at 083 380 6298.