Seals are wild animals and should not be petted, touched, fed or approached, is the message the City of Cape Town shared with the public after a teenager was bitten this weekend.
On Saturday, there were a report of an incident where a teenager swam up to a seal and tried to touch it which caused the seal to become aggressive and bite the boy. He had to receive medical attention for the bite shortly after.
The City said 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.
The public is reminded 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
- no one should feed a seal
- seals in general do not pose a threat to people if left alone and not harassed
- respecting wild life 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.