A LOCAL wildlife charity is warning people to keep their distance from an Arctic bearded seal which appeared at Lerwick’s Victoria Pier on Friday morning.
The young female, which does not seem to be afraid of people, has been seen on and off the slip at the small boat harbour since 6am.
Bearded seals belong to the Artic Ocean but are occasionally seen as far south as Shetland. Two years ago a bearded seal chose to spend the whole summer at Mid Yell.
Pete Bevington of Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary said the animal appeared to be in good shape. At about four feet length she is far from being fully grown.
Lerwick Port Authority, meanwhile, has put up a line of cones near the slipway to prevent people from getting too close to the animal.
Bevington said: “She couldn’t have chosen a more prominent public place than Victoria Pier to turn up.”
While the seal appears to be completely relaxed as it basks in the sun, Bevington advised not to get too close to the animal.
“It is fine to have a look from the distance, but please don’t go up too close,” he said.
Apart from that there was not much anyone could do about the seal turning up in the town centre, he said.
“We will be keeping an eye on her,” Bevington added, “but I am slightly concerned as to what will happen later since it is Friday night.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 420 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News