Villagers on Beqa Island have been advised to neither harm nor feed a seal found in Rukua village as it will eventually find its way to its natural habitat.
Confirmed as a New Zealand fur seal, Director Fisheries Neomai Ravitu said they are known to go astray and end up in far-fetched locations for various reasons, recommending a hands-off approach which has also been echoed by Sefano Katz, Project Manager for the Beqa Lagoon Initiative under the Pacific Blue Foundation, who is advising villagers not to feed it.
Villagers were surprised at the discovery yesterday and shared pictures and videos on social media platforms that have since been widely shared.
It could have been swept in by currents as they sometimes like to explore and end up in strange places as they’re also a little adventurous,” Ravitu said.“It is recommended that we have a ‘hands-off approach to seals. They are capable and resilient and given time and space, they usually find their way home.
Experts recommend that people keep 20 metres away from seals and not to get between them and the sea.
“Seals are wild animals and will defend themselves if they feel threatened. Adult seals can move surprisingly quickly on land. While they can look harmless, seals can inflict serious injuries to dogs or people and can carry infectious diseases,” Katz said.
On land, seals have been found in unusual places such as backyards, drains and streets.