Rare Footage Shows Curious Seal Hitching Ride With Paddle Boarders
We've got a cute video for you today, showing the moment a family of paddle boarders encounter a rather curious little seal.
Daren Ford, 52, and Kerrie Rocket, 50, were cruising along the River Arun near Littlehampton in West Sussex when the stowaway seal swam up to them and climbed onto Kerrie's board.
As is shown in the clip, everyone saw the funny side, with Darren stating, "Hello mate," before joking: "If he bites my toe I'm jumping in."
Let it be known that the friendly little fella is somewhat of a local celeb - he's even been nicknamed Gavin.
Speaking about the incredible encounter, Daren, from Hayling Island in Hampshire, said: "This happened when we were five miles or so up the river Arun which is where I think Gavin the seal has been spotted before.
"This was our first visit to this area and only my third time on a board; we checked the tide times and we were going upstream until the tide turned and then rode back on the opposite tide.
"We dropped our boards in from the pontoon and had been paddling for an hour or so. The sun was shining and we were chatting away oblivious that we were being followed by a seal.
"To our amazement, the seal just started going from one board to another, jumping on and relaxing!
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''We had no food out, we never encouraged him in any way and kept our distance as far as possible.
''At first we were really worried that the seal was in trouble or maybe aggressive but soon realised he was being curious and was in good health.
"It was an amazing experience but it never really sank in until we got home and realised how rare this actually happens."
It certainly is a rare occurrence, unless you're in the company of Gavin that is - apparently he loves to hitch a ride when he can.
Perhaps he's of the same family as this friendly little guy, who was filmed cuddling up to diver Ben Burville during one of his trips.
The GP opened up about the experience, stating that he was exploring the depths when the curious seal approached him before clinging on to his arm and nuzzling him.
The affectionate flippered friend then gave the doc a full-on cuddle, with the pair embracing like old pals.
Alongside the encounter with Gavin, I'm pretty sure this is proof that seals are officially sea puppies.
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