With what appeared to be an unwell seal found on the beach at Cape Conran last week, it is a timely reminder that such animals should be left alone.
Seals often lie on beaches or other areas to rest or moult, which is normal, and they can look injured when they are not. For example, seals secrete a watery substance from their eyes that is often mistaken for crying or an injury, but it is a natural mechanism to protect their eyes.
Seals are also regularly bitten or scratched by other seals. Such wounds heal quickly and don’t need human help.
Here are a few rules to follow should you come across a seal on land to ensure your safety and to minimise your impact on the seal: do not approach within 30 metres of a seal on land, whether you are also on land or in the water; dogs are not permitted within 50 metres of a seal on land; do not approach within five metres of a seal on a boat ramp, pier or other manmade structure; dogs must not enter the water within 150 metres of a dolphin, 300 metres of a whale or 50 metres of a seal; it is illegal to touch or feed a seal; and never attempt to pat seals.
PICTURED: This seal was seen along the beach at Cape Conran last week and was thought to be unwell. It may have been, but it is a timely reminder to leave such animals be.