Leopard seal ashore at Fingal Beach

THE National Parks and Wildlife Service has warned against approaching a juvenile leopard seal that has come ashore at Fingal Beach for a rest.

An exclusion zone has been established around the seal, which is expected to remain in the area for the next few days.

NPWS Hunter Region Manager Robert Quirk said while the seal may appear docile it could be dangerous.

‘‘People who harass it or try to force it back into the water will only put themselves at risk unnecessarily,’’ he said.

He said a yawning seal was not indicating it was tired but ready to attack.

‘‘Seals gape their mouths as warning, so people need to stay well away,’’ he said.

‘‘Seals can outrun most people on sand so ... stay well outside the exclusion zone for your own safety.’’

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