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To stop the illegal exploitation of seals on various Western Cape beaches, the City of Cape Town and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment (DFFE) have joined forces to stop those feeding seals for profit.

The most recent events took place in Hout Bay harbour where several people asked for money for other people to feed the animals or pose with them for photos. The seals were also disturbed and harassed by their self-proclaimed handlers.

The South African reports that the City and DFFE emphasise that approaching, feeding, harassing, or disturbing seals is a criminal offence under the Threatened or Protected Species Regulations and the City’s Coastal By-Law.

Those found guilty of contravening the law will receive a spot fine of up to R3,000.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) recently stepped in to help the animals and relocated five seals from Hout Bay harbour to Kleinsee in the Northern Cape.

While most of the seals managed to adapt to their new environment, one seal swam more than 700 kilometres back to Hout Bay.

Image credit: Animal Ocean

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