A South African wildlife lover has shared a video of a tourist getting much too close to a seal on a beach on the Cape West Coast. In the clip, which you can watch below, the woman gets within a few feet of the seal, which charges towards her, causing her to fall over twice. It appears to shake her by the sleeve until she manages to pull free.
The video was originally uploaded by TikTok user Deolene_Weskus_Livin, and subsequently shared on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which usually focuses on bad behavior at US National Parks and other sites of natural beauty.
Attacks by seals are rare, but the animals can become aggressive and unpredictable if they feel that they or their young are threatened. Last year, the City of Cape Town issued a warning to visitors not to approach or feed the native fur seals. The advisory came after a teenager was attacked, and one seal was killed.
"We always request the public to respect wildlife and give them adequate space as interaction an interference will lead to animals becoming habituated, which increases the risk of conflict between wildlife and humans in general," said the city council in a statement.
Some people reportedly think that they should attempt to get seals back into the water, but this isn't the case; the animals often come onto beaches to rest before heading back to sea, and are in no danger on land.
"In general, seals do not pose a threat if left alone and not harassed," said Marian Nieuwoudt, the Mayoral Committee member for Spatial Planning and Environment. "Should a seal approach you, you are advised to simply back away slowly and leave the animal alone – be it on the land or in the water."
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.