It seems not even Cape Town’s wildlife is immune to the Christmas spirit! At a time of year when the shops are packed and companies are vying for our attention with all kinds of gimmicks in order to sell the latest fad, we are quite used to seeing strange things at the malls, but when the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Department received a call about a Cape fur seal crossing the busy Jakes Gerwel Drive opposite the Vangate Mall in Athlone this morning, even we had to wonder.
Arriving at the scene, SPCA Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse and Inspector Lwazi Ntungele found a large adult female Cape Fur Seal wandering about into traffic, while attracting a crowd of bemused onlookers. The City of Cape Town’s Metro Police were also on scene and controlling the traffic to keep the animal safe.
Watch these videos taken by astonished members of the public:
The SPCA inspectors, experienced in the ways of fur seals, acted quickly to get the animal safely into a crate before a quick health assessment and on its way to the nearest quiet beach where it can recover from its ordeal in peace.
Quite how a seal got to be there in the first place so far from the ocean will remain a mystery. One theory is that it had swum into a canal and was washed further away by strong currents, or that it was intended to be an unusual Christmas gift for someone’s mother-in-law and then merely dumped when its captor saw the price of fish!
Either way, Santa the Seal (as she was named by onlookers), skipped into the water and swam off with a wave of her flipper, her Christmas shopping will have to wait.
The Cape of Good SPCA reminds people not to approach any wild animal, especially Cape fur seals, which can be quite aggressive and will not hesitate to bite when cornered or feeling threatened.
Donate NOW to our Wildlife efforts
Santa the seal would like you to join her in appealing to the spirit of the season and sharing her appreciation for the work our Wildlife Team performs (for not only seals) by making a festive donation to the SPCA
The SPCA receives no funding from the government and relies on donations from the public in order to function
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch: 025309 / 051001 (internet banking)
Account Number: 071832858
SWIFT: SBZA ZA JJ
Account Type: Cheque
Account Name: The Cape of Good Hope SPCA
Beneficiary Reference: Wild & Your Name and Email or Phone number
Send proof of payment to: email@example.com
Your continued dedication, ongoing support, and passion for protecting the lives of animals is what makes us successful. Thank you for everything you do to help make this a better world for animals.