Animals have been loving the South African shores recently. From the Southern right whales currently breeding in our waters to the pair of Cape clawless otters who enjoyed some time on the beach, it seems the ocean is the place to be.

The latest animal sighting is a very exciting one, as a leopard seal was spotted on Robberg Beach in Plettenberg Bay. Plettenberg Bay Tourism shared this exciting new visitor’s appearance in a video.

“Everyone needs a break and, apparently Plett is the place to go! An incredibly rare sighting of a leopard seal on Plett’s Robberg Beach – only a handful have ever been recorded along our South African coastline in living memory. What a rare treat to see this magnificent apex predator!” they write on Facebook.

“The leopard seal’s normal range is the Antarctic and Sub Antarctic islands, but it seems that he needed a short breather on our gorgeous beaches before heading out again.”

Everyone needs a break and, apparently Plett is the place to go! An incredibly rare sighting of a leopard seal on Plett’…

Posted by Plettenberg Bay Tourism on Monday, 10 August 2020

Leopard seals, named for their black-spotted coat, are the second-largest species of seal in the Antarctic after the southern elephant seal. It measures between 2.4-3.7 metres in length and weighs between 200-600 kg.

Considering this marine mammal typically calls the icy Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic waters home, a local leopard seal sighting is incredibly rare. Up until now, this apex predator had only been spotted on the South African coast nine times since 1946, reports East Coast Radio.

The last time a leopard seal was spotted in the country was nearly a year ago in August 2019.

While this is a very exciting discovery, residents are urged to be cautious if the leopard seal is seen again.

“Marine biologist, Dr Gwenith Penry reminds us that we should not approach him if he is spotted again as leopard seals are apex predators with large teeth and powerful jaws. Please keep your distance. If you do encounter any wildlife that you suspect is stranded, please do not approach – social distancing essential – but rather contact CapeNature or ORCA Foundation for assistance,” Pletternberg Bay Tourism adds.

Picture: screenshot from video

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