Neil the seal causing quite a ruckus after coming ashore in Tasmania–again

Neil the Seal, a three-year-old southern elephant seal, has been spotted again in Tasmania since coming ashore recently. This isn't the first time he's made an appearance—he's visited many times over the last few years. He's currently delighting residents, who have flocked to see him and have shared videos of him all over social media. ABC News explains that Neil has been busy:

recently preventing a woman from accessing her car, taking a dislike to people and cars at a local boat ramp and fronting up at a real estate agent office, prompting more than one pun about him "sealing a deal". Photos and videos of Neil chomping on traffic cones, disfiguring road marker posts, or inconveniencing traffic, have led to the seal attracting crowds with their phones out.

These crowds are causing safety issues, and wildlife experts are urging folks to give Neil space and to stop antagonizing him—for the safety of both Neil and the public. ABC News provides more details:

As Neil's popularity grew, authorities have had to repeatedly urge curious humans to "keep their distance, keep dogs on a lead and away from the seal". In April, after Neil caused a ruckus at Kingston Beach, near Hobart, authorities said they had again "relocated him" for the seal's safety. "Sadly, some people haven't taken our advice about staying away and have continued to gather, dogs have been brought to the area, and there's a road close by," the MCP said in a Facebook post in April this year. "These all add up to increasing risks for Neil and the public, and we have moved him to a more secluded location. "We love that you think Neil is cool, and we agree, but what's not cool is people harassing and touching the seal."

Folks, please listen to wildlife authorities so that Neil the Seal doesn't meet the same fate as Freya the Walrus, who was euthanized by the Norwegian government in August of 2022, after they urged the public to stay away from her and they failed to do so.


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