Harp seal spotted in Azores

in News · 19-08-2020 16:24:00 · 0 Comments

A harp seal, usually found in the Arctic, was spotted resting in the port area of Castelo Branco, in Faial, after the Maritime Police were warned about the presence of this species.

According to the Regional Director of Sea Affairs of the Government of the Azores, Filipe Porteiro, the warning was given "because a seal was spotted in the Praia do Almoxarife.”

The note sent to the press clarifies that the animal, about 180 centimetres, "does not appear to have visible injuries or motor weakness, so it is considered, for now, that there are no reasons to intervene or capture the animal".

The Regional Directorate for Maritime Affairs and specialists in marine mammals of the Okeanos Institute will continue to monitor the animal's behaviour and, “if necessary, the measures deemed appropriate will be taken, according to best practices”.

This species, which lives in the Arctic, where it forms numerous colonies, had already been spotted on the island of Pico in 2002 when an adult of 170 centimetres was found dead.

The Regional Directorate for Sea Affairs warns the population not to approach or interact with the seal, avoiding the occurrence of incidents, "since it is a wild animal, with which the interaction may represent some danger".

The government agency also advises bathers to "leave the water and maintain a safe distance" in case they see the animal in the vicinity.


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