Cute fur seal has sharp teeth

FINDING a fur seal on a beach in northern NSW seems pretty far-fetched, but it can happen.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service reports that a seal pup “hauled out” on a number of beaches on the Northern Rivers this week.

And a Byron woman told The Northern Star that she found a seal pup on a Byron Bay beach on Wednesday afternoon and took it to a vet.

NPWS acting regional manager Roger Mills said seals regularly rested on beaches and rock platforms on the North Coast in winter.

Australian fur seals and New Zealand fur seals are the most common types.

But Mr Mills warned that the animals should not be approached “under any circumstances”.

“They have large, very sharp teeth with strong jaws and can inflict severe injuries,” he said.

“We recommend that people keep themselves and their dogs at least 40m away from any resting seals – for the protection of both themselves and the seal.

“While it may be tempting to approach them or try and ‘help’, it is important to remember that in most cases the animals are not in trouble but are merely resting on shore and that they will depart within a day or two.

“Seals are perfectly capable of returning to the sea without any assistance.”

If you find a seal that appears to be injured, report it to NPWS. The number for the regional office at Alstonville is 6627 0200.

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE A FUR SEAL

Do not handle the animal under any circumstance, even if it is a cute-looking pup and you think it requires assistance.

Keep at least 40m away for your own safety.

Keep dogs under control and away from the vicinity of the seal, for the safety of both animals.

Do not attempt to herd the seal back to water. It will leave when it is ready.

Do not throw water on it or try to feed it.



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