The City of Cape Town’s Coastal Management Branch has installed signage at the Dalebrook Tidal Pool, situated between St James beach and Kalk Bay, warning visitors to keep a respectful distance from wildlife.
This signage follows after posts circulated on social media platforms, displaying visitors cuddling and handling a Cape Clawless otter at the tidal pool.
The signage warns visitors to keep a respectful distance from marine wildlife at all times as habituating animals holds dire consequences, and places both the public and animals at risk.
The City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews said, “We were disturbed to see these posts, showing multiple bathers holding and cuddling a Cape Clawless otter at the Dalebrook Tidal Pool. The posts surfaced on social media platforms on Sunday, 30 October 2022.
“I want to remind all visitors to our coastline and coastal amenities that the habitation of wildlife is illegal, and that this always leads to a tragic outcome where somebody gets hurt and the animal often euthanised. This is a situation we want to avoid at all costs.”
Cape Clawless otters may look cute, but they are predators and are unpredictable, like all wild animals. Habituating these animals will lead to injury. Bites from otters and other wild coastal animals such as seals, can cause severe sepsis.
The new signage was installed at the Dalebrook Tidal Pool on Monday, 31 October 2022.
All are reminded that the City’s Coastal By-law requires that the public keep a safe and respectful distance from marine and coastal wildlife at all times, and to remove their pets from areas where they encounter any wildlife. The Coastal Bylaw makes provision for the City to act against those who intentionally or negligently interfere with any marine and coastal wildlife.
The public are reminded to adhere to the following:
- Do not approach or try and get close to any marine and coastal wildlife. Their natural response will be to defend themselves and this may result in a bite
- Always keep a respectful distance between yourself and any wildlife to reduce stress on the wildlife. Move away if approached by wildlife
- Never try and touch, or pose with, any marine and coastal wildlife. This places both you and the wildlife at risk of potential harm
- Keep dogs under control by keeping them on a leash and well away from all wildlife at all times. Remove pets immediately from any place where coastal wildlife are present
- Never try and feed any marine and coastal wildlife
- Do not support the illegal feeding of wildlife for show, such as the seals at the fishing harbours. This is an illegal activity and must not be supported financially, or otherwise
In case of any injured, hurt, or coastal wildlife in distress, kindly contact the City on 021 480 7700 from a cellphone, or 107 from a landline. The appropriate response will be initiated to assist the animal. Members of the public are urged not to act on their own and without authority.
Picture: SANParks – Table Mountain National Park / Facebook