Tourist Bitten By Famous Sammy The Seal Rushed To A&E
A holidaymaker was rushed to A&E with serious bites on his hand after he attempted to pat 'Sammy the Seal' on the head at a Devon beauty spot.
The seal - known locally for being 'gentle' and friendly to humans - bit tourist Mark Tarpey's hand when he tried to stroke her.
Mark and his wife Joanne had just arrived at the Cary Arms hotel at Babbacombe in Torquay and said they were looking forward to meeting 'Sammy.'
They rushed straight out to see the seal on the pier and Mark had his photograph taken with her.
Unfortunately, he then bent down to try and stroke her on the head and Sammy bit his hand, leaving the steps covered in blood.
The couple rushed straight to Torbay Hospital's emergency department. They have now issued a warning to others of the dangers of approaching Sammy... a wild animal.
Joanne said: "After checking in we walked along the beach and then went to see if we could see the infamous 'Sammy the seal'.
"Sammy immediately went for Mark's hand, we immediately went to A&E. We have now sadly had to abort our holiday and return to Lancashire."
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The Seal Project conservation charity which monitors seals at Brixham and Babbacombe said: "Unfortunately Sammy has been habituated by human interaction over a sustained period and her natural behaviours have been changed for life."
Cary Arms assistant operations manager Jack Howell said: "There are a couple of seals that come around every day. This is the first time I've ever heard of anybody being bitten.
"Obviously seals are wild animals and we would always advise people not to approach them."
Earlier this summer, a spokesperson for The Seal Project said: "Today we were at Babbacombe checking on and replacing our signs which remind people why feeding seals is bad. We were chatting to some local anglers when 'Sammy' appeared.
"Sammy is a mature female (cow) grey seal whom we know well. Today we observed her identify people on the pier and swim over to see if there was any food for her.
"This unfortunately is learnt behaviour and very sad indeed. Grey seals are prolific hunters and recognising humans as a food source increases her risk of harm by entanglement (in anglers hooks and line) and strike injury from boats.
"Please remember and share our core message: give wildlife space. Do not feed wild seals. Be kind."
Pretty sound advice. Take note, Mark.
Featured Image Credit: BPM Media
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