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Seals visit Perth shores

Seal thermo-regulating off the coast of Perth
Seal thermo-regulating off the coast of Perth Department of Parks and Wildlife

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is reminding people that seals resting on beaches or swimming close to shores should be left undisturbed, following numerous recent sightings of seals on the Perth coast.

Parks and Wildlife Swan Region marine park coordinator Melissa Evans said it was common to see Australian sea lions and New Zealand fur seals along the Perth shoreline year-round, as well as sub-Antarctic fur seals and other seal species during the winter months.

“In the past few weeks, we have recorded lots of sightings of seals and sea lions swimming close to our shores, particularly near Quinns Rocks and Fremantle,” she said.

“In particular, people have reported fur seals spinning or twisting around in the water and sticking their flippers in the air.

“While it may look like the animals are in distress, entangled or injured, this is a natural behaviour known as thermo-regulating, where the seal is controlling its body temperature by exposing different parts to the sun and sticking its flippers in and out of the water,” she said.  

Ms Evans said it was also common for winter cold fronts to bring seals onto Perth beaches.

“These seals haul up on beaches to rest – they are not ‘stranded’ and don’t require assistance from people,” she said.

“Generally they just need to be left alone to rest and will return to the ocean when they are ready.

“Members of the public are encouraged to view seals from a safe distance and to keep dogs away from seals and sea lions.”

If people see a seal with obvious body injuries they can report it to the department’s Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.


Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999



Last modified on Thursday, 27 August 2015 13:18