Coast KZN

02 Aug 2017

Elephant seal comes ashore in Richards Bay

Tamlyn Jolly (Zululand Observer)

The juvenile elephant seal came ashore at Alkantstrand beach on Tuesday afternoon PHOTO: Tamlyn Jolly

When a seal is spotted, it is vital to leave it be as it will return to the ocean when sufficiently rested

IN the third such sighting in KZN in as many weeks, an elephant seal surprised Richards Bay residents as it came ashore at Alkantstrand beach late yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.

Confirmed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Marine Ecologist Jennifer Olbers to be a juvenile of about two years old, the seal was spotted in the late afternoon on the rocks immediately south of the north pier.

It went back into the water and swam away at about 5.30pm.

Olbers said winter in KZN is ‘seal season’ and they are the only marine animals to come ashore to rest.

When whales, dolphins, whale sharks and various sea birds are stranded, it is usually as a result of poor health.

Olbers urged the public to steer clear from resting seals as they are easily stressed.

The Richards Bay sighting follows the coming ashore of an elephant seal on Zinkwazi Beach north of Durban last week and another at Ramsgate on the south coast in mid-July.

Both were relocated.

In the event that stranded sea life is spotted on our coast’s beaches, people are urged to contact uShaka Sea World on 031 328 8222 during office hours and 031 328 8060 after hours, on public holidays and weekends.

The exact location and photos, if possible, should be included in any stranding reports.


For video, see Online Article