- New South Wales, Australia -
Pictures have been circulating on social media which have been connected to an episode that happened at Long Reef Aquatic Reserve, on Sydney's Northern Beaches.
Reportedly, the dog seen in the pictures had been harassing the seal also shown in the pictures, and all this was happening while the dog’s guardian just stood there and watched.
I have not found a video showing the facts reported.
The area of the incident in question is zoned as a protected area by the New South Wales government and dogs must be on a leash at all times.
A local witness was disgusted by what they saw so they took pictures and posted them on social media hoping to track down the irresponsible guardian.
News Break reports that the witness told Pittwater Online News: “The dog circled the poor seal that was resting on the beach. Then the dog nipped the seal. The seal bellowed and the dog kept at it. We thought the seal would be bitten. We also thought the dog would be killed.”
According to the witness, the dog’s guardian had no control over the dog and did not even try to approach the seal or the dog until they both were in the water.
The witness also added: “However once in the deeper water the dog continued chasing. As the dog was in deep water the owner eventually waded in to retrieve it.”
Then, the dog was dragged away by his guardian.
After the pictures surfaced on social media residents became outraged and slammed the behavior of the dog’s guardian as “disgusting and arrogant.
9News reports that the dog’s guardian, a 47-year-old from Dee Why, has later been fined $1,320 for allowing his dog to attack a seal.
Australian fur seals are a protected species, with fines of up to $3000 possible for getting too close to the animals.
Mayor Michael Regan thanked community members for their concern and assistance in helping protect the rare animal and said: “We are truly fortunate that such a magnificent creature visited our beaches for onlookers to admire from afar. People must keep at least 40 meters away from these protected animals and dogs are not permitted at all times at this particular stretch of coastline, which is designated a marine reserve.”