Watch Latest: Sub-antarctic fur seal live rescue on Durban beach

An adorable, yet emaciated and exhausted, sub-antarctic fur seal swam many thousands of kilometres before washing up on a beach North of Durban and being taken into the care of rescue workers on Tuesday.

Marshall Security community support spokesperson, Andreas Mathios who was one of the first responders to arrive at the scene said that a man who was walking on the beach had spotted the seal. He told a friend who then called animal rescue workers for assistance.

“The man spotted the seal which had been washed up onto the shore on Tuesday afternoon. The seal appeared to be motionless but when the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) arrived at the scene together with workers from Ushaka Marine World in Durban it was established that the animal was still alive but in a docile state,” Mathios said.

Mathios said the rescue workers carefully approached the animal on the beach.

“Using special marine nets and a carry box the seal was coaxed into the carry box by the team.,” Matthios said.

“Once the seal was secured it was then carried to an awaiting vehicle and taken to Ushaka marine World for evaluation by medical personnel,” Mathios said.

Watch the video of the seal rescue here.

The South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) spokesperson, Ann Kunz, said it was not common for sub-antarctic fur seals to swim along the SA East Coast but two or three were usually spotted at this time of the year. 

“The jury is still out whether it is a male or a female. Sometimes it is hard to tell. It is not a baby but it is young. This poor little one is very thin and in a poor condition, but we have seen them in a similar condition before and there is hope. They travel a very long way but there is always hope,” Kunz said. 

Kunz said the animal health team and vet had examined the seal.

“Right now the vet has given some antibiotics and we have left the seal to rest for the night.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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