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WATCH: Santa the seal stops traffic as it crosses a busy Cape Town road

Cape Town – Motorists and residents along Jakes Gerwel Drive in Cape Town were left with mouths hanging open after a seal was seen casually waddling across the busy road on Wednesday morning.

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The busy intersection at Klipfontein quickly came to a halt to allow the seal to cross over safely.

Motorists and passersby could not contain their excitement and immediately started filming and taking pictures of this rare occurrence, with the closest beach about 15.5km away.

As the seal nonchalantly waddled its way across the road, members of the City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies secured the area as they awaited the arrival of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Once SPCA inspectors arrived the seal was loaded into a steel container and taken away.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith said the seal had been contained.

“A short while back a seal was found walking down Jake’s Gerwel Drive, at Klipfontein Rd. Various enforcement services secured the scene and awaited the arrival of the SPCA Wildlife Unit. The seal has been contained and will be kept for observations, then released back into its natural environment,” Smith said.

He said the circumstances of the seal’s mysterious arrival would be investigated by the SPCA.

“The Cape Fur seal is only found around our local waters and is one of the strongest, most muscular seals. When provoked, it can deliver a nasty bite,” Smith said.

Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse from the Cape of Good Hope SPCA said they were used to seeing strange things during the festive period; however when they got to the scene even they had to wonder.

A was found wandering along Jakes Gerwel Drive on Wednesday morning. Photo: supplied

Pieterse was joined by Inspector Lwazi Ntungele and said the seal was an adult female.

“The SPCA inspectors, experienced in the ways of fur seals, acted quickly to get the animal safely into a crate before a quick health assessment and on its way to the nearest quiet beach where it can recover from its ordeal in peace,” he said.

A seal was found wandering along Jakes Gerwel Drive on Wednesday morning. Photo: supplied

Pieterse said he did have a theory on what happened.

“Quite how a seal got to be there in the first place so far from the ocean will remain a mystery.

“One theory is that it had swum into a canal and was washed further away by strong currents, or that it was intended to be an unusual Christmas gift for someone’s mother-in-law and then merely dumped when its captor saw the price of fish!

“Either way, Santa the seal (as she was named by onlookers), skipped into the water and swam off with a wave of her flipper, her Christmas shopping will have to wait,” Pieterse joked.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA reminds people not to approach any wild animal, especially Cape fur seals, which can be quite aggressive and will not hesitate to bite when cornered or feeling threatened.

“It is safer to contact the Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s Wildlife Department at 021 700 4158/9 or 083 326 1604 and our trained team members will assist the wild animal in need.”

Santa the seal would like you to join her in appealing to the spirit of the season and sharing her appreciation for the work our Wildlife Team performs (for not only seals) by making a festive donation to the SPCA – www.capespca.co.za/donate

EFT donations:

Bank: Standard Bank

Branch: 025309 / 051001 (internet banking)

Account Number: 071832858

SWIFT: SBZA ZA JJ

Account Type: Cheque

Account Name: The Cape of Good Hope SPCA

Beneficiary Reference: Wild & Your Name and Email or Phone number

Send proof of payment to: inspmanager@spca-ct.co.za

robin.francke@inl.co.za

IOL

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