Seal mystery solved
A SURPRISE seal visitor to the Capricorn Coast earlier this week wasn't as rare as people might think, according to Australia's marine authority.
The seal was spotted on multiple occasions off the coast of Yeppoon.
Mark Read, from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, said the encounter with the slippery seal, which he says was either an Australian or New Zealand Fur Seal, wasn't that unusual.
"It's actually reasonably uncommon,” he said.
"There was a New Zealand Fur Seal sighted off Lady Elliot Island less than a month ago, and we usually get one probably every 18 months.
"It's not usual behaviour for juvenile animals to explore their surrounds a little bit and we think that this is what is contributing to this occasional occurrence of fur seals in the marine park.”
Mr Read stressed the importance of leaving any wild animals alone, saying that most have an instinct not to trust humans.
"They should most definitely not try to catch it or pat it because seals have got the most ferocious armament of sharp pointy teeth and they do actually carry some fairly nasty diseases that can be transmitted to people, so look but don't touch,” he said.
"Although they might look cute and cuddly, and they might come up to the side of your boat and ordinarily, feeding wild animals can actually lead to potentially dangerous behaviours.
"It might erode their normal caution around humans and make them more likely to approach people and possibly become aggressive if they don't get fed.”