A seal has been spotted frolicking in the surf at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast.
While the animals are pretty cute and quite rare to see in our waterways, beachgoers are being urged to give them space and not approach them.
Authorities believe the juvenile fur seal will likely hang around the coast for the next few weeks.
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Southern Wildlife Operations manager Frank Mills says the Department of Environment and Science (DES) is working with the local council to ensure the seal stays safe while visiting our coastline.
“The seal was sticking its flippers out of the water and people were concerned it was ill or injured, but that is how seals regulate their temperature,” Mr Mills says.
“Seeing seals in the wild like this can be exciting because they always look like they’re having fun in the waves or on the beach.”
Under the Nature Conservation Act, people must not get within 40 metres of a seal when it is on the beach.
“Seals come ashore to rest and recover from their swim, and people are asked not to approach them and keep their dogs on a leash,”
“Seals can move quickly over short distances on land and may become aggressive if they feel threatened.”
Some of the marine mammals also carry diseases that can be passed on to people.
Anyone who sees a seal they believe is sick or injured, is urged to call the DES Hotline 1300 130 372 for assistance.
Authorities have warned there are penalties for people who approach seals on land with fines of up to $17,250.