When you are at the seaside it’s always a thrill to encounter Uk’s two native seals, grey or harbour (common) and their innate curiosity makes them appear confiding and cute, But to protect yourself, your children, and pets from injury, it is sensible to remember these are wild animals. They are big, strong, and have sharp teeth. While being naturally wary of humans and dogs, feeding by well-meaning visitors in some areas – see the report from St Ives, Cornwall – has tempted them to lose some of that caution in favour of easy pickings, and this can lead to accidents when people get too close and might be accidentally bitten as a seal snatches food from their hand.
A seal bite, accidental or not, can lead to serious infection if not treated quickly. Don’t try to touch them – the seal might feel threatened, or think you are holding out food and make a grab for it.
The current craze for “Pokemon Go”, and getting close-up photos of the animals, are also causes for concern. Take care, be safe, don’t spoil it for others: enjoy your seaside holiday; enjoy watching the seals, but do it from a safe distance.
This link opens recent UK Government guidance on seal watching | Marine developments.
Click on the links embedded in the guidance to see recent relevant articles.