Coast KZN

01 Jun 2023

Seal comes ashore at Port of Richards Bay

Tamlyn Head ( Zululand Observer) Picture: A large South African fur seal took a sho’t left into the local port.

Employees at the Port of Richards Bay welcomed a new arrival yesterday (Wednesday), but not of the usual shipping variety. A large South African fur seal took a sho’t left into the local port, where it has since spent much time resting and sunning itself on the pontoons at the coal terminal.

While the unusual sighting caused stirs of excitement, seals do not live along Zululand’s coastline, and oftentimes those that do come ashore are sick, dehydrated, injured or just tired.

After being reported to the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Stranding Network, this fur seal has been assessed visually and appears to be in good health, well fed, and with no visible injuries. A variety of parties are monitoring the seal, including the NSRI Station 19, the coal terminal, and local government.

This is the second seal stranding along the KZN coast this week, the first – a Subantarctic fur seal – at  Treasure Beach in Durban.

While it is thought at this stage that the Richards Bay stranding is a South African fur seal, its large size is leading some experts to believe it may be an Antarctic seal.1