Rare leopard seal citing on South African shores

Rare leopard seal citing on South African shores

Since 1946 there have only been nine citings of this beautiful creature on the coast of South Africa.


Plettenberg Bay had a very special "tourist" when a leopard seal was spotted on the beach.

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After local marine biologist, Dr Gwen Penry was informed about the visitor on Robberg Beach, and she could confirm upon closer inspection that it was indeed a leopard seal or Hydrurga leptonyx.

You might be wondering what makes this citing so unique and rare?

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Well, Dr Penry says that their normal range is in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands, which is more than 4000 km away. Which means this guy took quite a detour.

That's why it's no surprise that this has only been the ninth time one of these creatures has been spotted on our coast and the 10th one in over seven decades.

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They can grow up to 3,7m in length and weigh about 600kg, but the one seen in Plettenberg Bay was only about 2m.

They are incredible predators, usually depicting the role of the villain in animated movies such as 'Happy Feet'. 

These animals should never be approached, no matter how cute they appear.

Luckily this guy made it safely back to sea and was able to continue with his journey as you can see in the video below.

Hopefully, he hasn't gotten lost again. 

Main image courtesy of Pexels

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