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The Somewhat Unexpected Warning For Beachgoers This Summer

As summer approaches, beachgoers in Victoria are usually warned to slip, slop and slap, swim between the flags and to be aware of safety signs.

Today, however, beachgoers are being warned to steer clear of exhausted and grumpy seals trying to get some much-needed rest at Victorian beaches after a busy breeding season.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning program manager Suriya Vij says it's best to enjoy their presence from afar - no matter how sick or emaciated they seem.

"While we understand seeing a seal in poor condition may be upsetting, approaching a seal or trying to move it will cause an already stressed animal further distress," Ms Vij said on Tuesday.

Seals will often try to bite anyone who comes too close, and seal bites are highly infectious.

So, what should you do if you see a seal?

- Do not approach within 30 metres of a seal on land

- Dogs are not allowed within 50 metres of a seal on land

- At boat ramps or other man-made structures such as piers, you must stay at least five metres away from seals.

- Never attempt to feed seals.

Source: AAP / Staff Writers

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