After stormy weather and high tides, seals will haul out onto beaches to rest and regain their strength. Seals generally spend a lot of time on land, either resting or basking in the sun so it’s not uncommon for them to be out of the water. However, some may have been injured, swept ashore and too tired or too weak to move. Most stranding networks prefer to leave the animal on the beach overnight to see if the animal will leave on its own. If the animal is clearly in distress, what should you do?
As much as you would like to assist, its best to leave the animal alone. Do not try to move or touch the seal as this can cause unnecessary stress to the animal and you could stand a chance of being bitten especially if the seal feels threatened. Keep dogs and children away from the seal and contact the SPCA’s Wildlife Unit on 021 700 4140 or 083 326 1604. An inspector will be sent to assess the situation and make a qualified decision as to how to treat the animal.
Follow these rules and you’ve got the seals approval.