Friendly ‘Sammy’ gives town seal of approval

The Baker family got up close and personal with a Seal on Sidmouth beach

The Baker family got up close and personal with a Seal on Sidmouth beach - Credit: Archant

Beach-goers took a walk on the wild side when a friendly grey seal visited Sidmouth.

Seal seen in Sidmouth

Seal seen in Sidmouth - Credit: Archant

The animal happily posed for photographs and videos as growing crowds gathered to see it up-close.

Mel Baker was with friends and family on the east end of the beach fishing for mackerel on bank holiday Monday.

The mother-of-two said her friend thought that she could see something moving in the water, before the seal appeared.

Mel, of Ridgeway Mead, said: “We joked that it was a shark but she said ‘No, there is something moving’ and the seal popped up.

“It was a very nice experience for the children - they have not stopped talking about it.

“It was the first time we had seen one in the wild.

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“He was so tame, it was just unbelievable we did not realise one in the wild would be so calm.

“He was taking the fish from my husband’s hand.

“My husband asked him to roll over and he did - it’s as if he knew what we were saying.”

Mel’s eight-year-old daughter, Teagan, christened the visitor Sammy, who only disappeared when a boat went past.

A spokesman from the Marine Conservation Society said: “It’s a grey seal, and it’s quite typical behaviour to get a free meal rather than forage - some harbours and ports have very social individuals.

“Grey seal numbers are steady in the UK, but although we have 40 per cent of the global population and they seem common here, it is one of the world’s rarest overall.”