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UNUSUAL VISITOR

Looking for an arf-price sale? Meet Santa the seal who went Christmas shopping

Looking for an arf-price sale? Meet Santa the seal who went Christmas shopping
An unusual customer joins the crowds heading for a Cape Town mall to go bargain hunting. (Photo: Supplied)

An unusual customer joins crowds heading for a Cape Town mall to go bargain hunting.

SPCA inspectors get odd callouts, but the one they had on Wednesday was so weird it sounded like a prank. It wasn’t. A female Cape fur seal was crossing the busy Jakes Gerwel Drive heading for the Vangate Mall in Athlone, Cape Town.

The Metro Police were on the scene controlling traffic and a crowd was gathering. She was soon named Santa by curious onlookers.

Was it a gimmick to sell the latest fad or had it forgotten where the sea was? Do seals do Christmas shopping? 

Santa makes a stop on the way to the mall. (Photo: Supplied)

Santa is released on a quiet beach. (Photo: Supplied)

Perhaps, quipped SPCA chief inspector Jaco Pieterse who rushed to the scene, it was intended to be an unusual Christmas gift for someone’s mother-in-law and dumped when its captor saw the price of fish!


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Quite how a seal got to be there remains a mystery. Pieterse speculated it had swum into a canal and was washed further inland by strong currents.  

He and Inspector Lwazi Ntungele, experienced in the ways of fur seals, acted quickly to get the animal safely into a crate before a quick health assessment. It was then taken to the nearest quiet beach, where she lolloped into the water and swam off with a wave of a flipper. Her Christmas shopping would just have to wait. DM/OBP

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