Our expert says:
Unlike whales and dolphins, seals are able to spend time on land and often do.
If the seal shows no sign of injury or distress and isn't entangled, then it's best to leave it alone. If the animal is obviously in trouble then call the SPCA on 021 700 4140.
During mainly October/November, when seals give birth, sucklings (baby seals) may get washed away from their mothers and land up on beaches. Unfortunately they need to be put down humanely. The Grassy Park SPCA will do this free of charge. In the Kalk Bay area, Pat Stacey, the Kalk Bay Harbour Master, Tel: (021) 788-8313 will keep them at the harbour to be collected by the SPCA. It is illegal for members of the public to remove sucklings off beaches unless the intention is to take them to a Fisheries Control Officer, the SPCA or a vet.
Don't handle adult seals; their bites are very dangerous; you may recall the unfortunate incident a few years back in which a would-be rescuer had her nose badly bitten.
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