And he has our seal of approval.
In the past few days, folks along the Yarra River have spotted a delightful Australian fur seal frolicking as far upstream as Abbotsford. Which is a bit weird, because seals are normally found in coastal waters around Port Phillip Bay and Phillip Island. If you’re walking along the river, why don’t you keep your eyes peeled for this cheeky seal?
Seal it to believe it
The Melbourne Zoo Marine Response Unit, or MRU, has seen this seal “at various parts of the Yarra River around Melbourne in recent days”.
“The seal appears to be foraging normally,” said MRU Coordinator Mark Keenan. “But the MRU is keeping a close eye on the seal as it is in an urban environment.”
So, what’s a seal doing in the Yarra River? Apart from surprising kayakers, seals can enjoy plenty of fish in the river. There’s a diverse fish community in there that’s ripe for the picking. A lone seal would be a formidable and unexpected river predator. As a skilful hunter, he could help himself to treats such as a short-finned eel or a cod.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time a seal has been spotted in the Yarra River. In 2017, a 200 kilogram fellow named Salvatore the Seal was found swimming around Abbotsford, Kew, Richmond, and as close to the city as Southbank. This seal got his name from swimming near the Salvation Army in Richmond.
Unfortunately, there’s no word yet as to whether this seal marks the return of Salvatore, or if it’s a new friendly face.
What should you do if you see the seal?
Simply gaze at the seal from afar and watch him have fun. However, if you see an injured or distressed marine animal, you should call the Melbourne Zoo Marine Response Unit on 1300 245 678.