Authorities have reiterated a call for people to avoid contact with marine and coastal wildlife after a seal bit two bathers at Clifton Beach on Tuesday January 3.
Three people were attacked while swimming at Clifton’s 4th Beach on Tuesday. The little animal is seen in the shallow water and seconds later, jumps towards a minor. The seal then bites the boy on his leg and an old man, who ran in to help the boy, is also attacked.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) chief executive officer, Dr Cleeve Robertson, has advised patients bitten by a seal to seek professional medical attention from their doctor or local hospital as soon as possible.
“Bite wounds from seals become severely infected and require thorough cleaning,” said Dr Robertson.
He said the patient should be prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics. “Without professional medical care it results in significant infection,” said Dr Robertson.
The City of Cape Town’s deputy mayor and mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Eddie Andrews, reminded residents to keep a safe distance from sea wildlife at all times.
“Residents are reminded to keep their distance from marine mammals and to not interfere with them. Residents and visitors are encouraged to treat all marine and coastal wildlife with respect and to remove their pets from areas where wildlife may be present.
“In the interest of the safety of beach users, as well as the animals, I want to kindly request residents and visitors to keep a safe and respectful distance from these animals.”
Last month, motorists on the usually busy Jakes Gerwel Drive near Bonteheuwel were greeted by the peculiar sight of a Cape Fur seal, nicknamed “Santa the Seal”, making its way across the busy intersection in Athlone opposite the Vangate Mall, leaving a mystery about how it got so far from the ocean – at least 17km from the nearest bay.
The SPCA inspectors conducted a health assessment and then released it at Lagoon Beach in Milnerton.