Department of Parks adn Wildlife
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Elephant seal has left Sorrento Beach

The Department of Parks and Wildlife today advised that the elephant seal left Sorrento Beach late last night.

It had been hauled out at Sorrento Beach for the last few days, but swam off into the ocean around 11pm last night.

Parks and Wildlife Senior Officer Rick Dawson said though the seal had left the beach, it might haul out at other beaches along the metropolitan area in the coming days.

“Department officers have done a search of surrounding beaches along the metropolitan coast but the seal has not been sighted.”

Mr Dawson said the sub-adult male which weighs an estimated 2000kg had most likely spent a long period swimming in the water and hauled-out at Sorrento to rest on the beach.

“If people sight the seal, we urge them not to approach as seals’ behaviour can be very unpredictable and they can react aggressively if they feel threatened,” he said.

Parks and Wildlife last year received reports of four southern elephant seals coming ashore on the south-coast and one sub-adult male reported on Carnac Island.

Southern elephant seals are large ocean-going mammals with males having a large proboscis (nose). They can weigh up to 3000kg. They are generally found in waters around subantarctic islands and while it is unusual for one to haul out this far north, there have been previous occurrences. Records go back a number of years with one particular incident of a large male that hauled out in the Exmouth area and remained there for five years.

To report further sightings of the seal please contact Parks and Wildlife Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

ENDS

 

Last modified on Sunday, 23 February 2014 09:56