Wild seal makes friends at the beach

Posted by Storm Simpson on 25 September 2020

A seal named Sammy has made Weymouth Beach in Dorset, England his home for the past few months.

Sammy was first spotted on the beach at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. As people were stuck inside their homes, the deserted beach seemed to be the perfect place for a young seal to fish and rest.

However, as lockdown restrictions were eased and the weather improved, people flocked to the beach. Surprisingly, the crowded beach did not bother Sammy, in fact, he relished the influx of people and seemed determined to make friends.

Will Badman, a photographer who has documented the friendly seal’s stay on the beach, told the Dodo: ‘Sammy has a habit of popping up on people unexpectedly and tries to get onto their surfboard, or on people’s back as they are swimming.’

When he tires of swimming, Sammy catches a lift back to shore by resting on paddleboards and will often nuzzle the riders.

Badman mentioned that Sammy seemed aware that he was the centre of attention and waved, smiled and stuck out his tongue for the camera. A telescopic lens was used to photograph the seal from a safe distance. In a Facebook post on August 9, Badman cautioned that Sammy is wild and the public should bear that in mind, saying: ‘If you do see him please respect that he is a wild animal and will scratch and bite as he did to two people this morning [which resulted in them going to the hospital] to get checked.’

This pinniped has become a local celebrity and is attracting the attention of an increasing amount of visitors. Sam Cridland, writing for the Dorset Eye, urges locals to appreciate nature from afar, saying: ‘The reason Sammy is here is that it was quiet and peaceful and there was nobody about. Sammy is a wild creature who needs to remain wild. The more we attempt to play with him in the water or stroke him on the beach the more damaging it is for his future.’

A group of volunteers has formed to help protect Sammy and ensure that he is safe in his temporary home.

For more news on Sammy the seal, visit Will Badman’s Facebook page.

 

Image credit: Pixabay






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