Wildlife watchers urged to keep their distance from Weymouth's seal

Wildlife watchers urged to keep their distance from Weymouth's seal

Published by Maria Greenwood at 3:35pm 3rd July 2020.

With an influx of visitors expected to Weymouth this weekend, we're being urged to look out for wildlife on the beach.

Weymouth's new resident seal has been proving a big attraction.

Dan Jarvis is a Welfare development and field support officer for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue. He spoke to Wessex FM about the importance of the safety of seals on our coast. 

Dan said, if you see a seal on the beach the best advice is not to approach them and keep a really good distance as they are wild animals:

"They have all their things that they need to do, they swim around the coast, they go all the way around South West England, across to France and as far as Wales and Ireland as well."

Seal's spend time out of the water to rest, which is their opportunity to conserve energy:

"After that, it's their best opportunity to dive in and fish, whenever they get disturbed and have to rush back into the water, it prevents all that from happening and it wastes energy on them, which isn't fair.

"Keep away and leave them as you've found them, which would hopefully be resting peacefully or swimming and not having changed their behaviour as a result of something that we've done."

Dan has also advised keeping dogs under control and on a lead. 

"It's important to keep quiet, because if the seals can see or hear you and they feel uncomfortable with how close you are or how noisy it is in their proximity, then that will be an issue for them and could cause them to bolt into the water to escape.

"As seals live and move around our coast throughout the year, we need to respect that, as this is where they live. 

"We're just visiting and passing through, so we absolutely need to respect that we need to leave them be, let them get on with their lives and not disrupt or disturb them for any reason."

If you are concerned about an animal's welfare, such as it being injured or showing signs of illness call the British Divers Marine Life Rescue on: 01825 765546.

They can give out advice and send assistance in the form of trained volunteers to assess the animal's health.