Hout Bay Bids Farewell to Famous Seal

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Earlier this morning, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, Hout Bay Seal Rescue, Law Enforcement and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), and a veterinarian, humanely euthanised a local seal known internationally as, Mr Brown.  

According to a local Hout Bay resident, colloquially known as Prof Joe, he has been feeding Mr Brown for the past 22 years.  He found Mr Brown as a young seal less than a year old and has formed a strong bond with him since. Joe has been with Mr Brown every day for the past 22 years.

Health Complications

The 22-year-old seal struggled with poor mobility and impaired eyesight in his advanced age.  A few months ago, the seal was involved in an incident with a reversing truck which further exacerbated his poor mobility.  Since the accident, the seal could no longer move freely and was in a great deal of pain and discomfort. An independent veterinarian has been monitoring the aging seal for the past few months and his condition has continued to deteriorate. Both the Cape of Good Hope SPCA and Hout Bay Seal Rescue continued to monitor the seal during this period. At this point, his feeder,  Prof Joe was also getting very concerned about the seal’s health and approached the Hout Bay Seal Rescue to assist with ending the seals suffering.

Ethical Decision

The decision to euthanise the seal was not made easily. Discussions between the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, Hout Bay Seal Rescue, and the relevant authorities, including the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), concluded humane euthanasia. Consultation also took place with Joe, who agreed that the seal was suffering and that euthanasia was the only solution. 

Law Enforcement

All stakeholders empathises with the loss of the seal; however, we remind the public that feeding of seals or any wildlife is strictly prohibited by law.  Any person who feeds or exploits a photo opportunity involving seals will be liable to prosecution and / or a hefty fine.  The relevant authorities will continue to enforce the law in this regard. 

This is a tripartite statement issued by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), Hout Bay Seal Rescue and the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

Farewell, Mr Brown

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