Wild Seal Is Totally Obsessed With Everyone At The Beach
“Sammy has a habit of popping up on people unexpectedly and tries to get onto their surfboard, kayak or on people’s back as they are swimming."
Will Badman drove down to Weymouth Beach in Dorset, UK, early one morning, but it wasn’t to catch the sunrise. He was looking for Sammy, the friendly seal who has made the beach his home for the last nine weeks.
Sammy first appeared on the beach during the peak of quarantine, when few people were out of their homes. It seemed to be the perfect place for the young seal to fish and rest on the sand.
But as restrictions loosened and the weather got warmer, Sammy found his beach crowded with people — which, surprisingly, didn’t seem to bother him one bit.
In fact, he seemed determined to make friends.
“Sammy has a habit of popping up on people unexpectedly and tries to get onto their surfboard, kayak or on people’s back as they are swimming,” Badman told The Dodo. “[He] seems to love the cameras ... when he comes onto the beach to rest.”
During Badman's visit, he used a long lens to photograph Sammy so he wouldn't have to get too close, but the seal seemed to know he was the center of attention. He played hide-and-seek with the photographer as well as waving, smiling and sticking out his tongue to mug for the camera.
When Sammy gets tired of swimming, he enjoys hitching rides on paddleboards. That way, he can warm up and rest without the trouble of swimming back to shore.
Sammy doesn't seem to mind the company, and will often cozy up to the riders.
A group of volunteers has formed to help protect Sammy, who has now become a local celebrity. Though the young seal can be friendly, he is still a wild animal and should not be touched or interfered with (despite his best efforts). It’s advised that people watch from a distance, curb their dogs, and not approach the animal.
Thanks to the volunteers, Sammy continues to enjoy his temporary home and delight everyone who visits.
“He was great to see and is not something that we normally have in this part of the UK," Badman said. “I traveled an hour to go and see him and it was well worth it.”