Seals can be found all over the world on most coastlines and cold waters, but the majority of them live in the icy Arctic and Antarctic waters.
That said, coming into contact with wild seals is very common, and is something that you may experience if you live near the coast.
In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at seals and answer a question that is very common when discussing these animals. Are seals friendly?
No, wild seals are not particularly friendly. Whilst many are used to interacting and being around humans, it’s not advised to approach these animals whilst swimming as they can be territorial and must always be treated with caution.
Are Seals Actually Friendly?
Seals are some of the most adorable animals in our oceans. They have a cute appearance and are known to be gentle and playful around humans.
However, despite them being used to humans, they are not overly friendly and should always be treated as wild animals.
That said, whilst seals are strong, powerful animals that have a set of teeth capable of inflicting serious harm to humans, they rarely attack or pose a threat to us.
Seals are well aware that we are not part of their menu, and they can actually be incredibly playful and gentle towards humans.
That’s not to be mistaken with friendly, as treating these animals as friendly could mean putting yourself or others in harm’s way, especially if approaching a large territorial species.
You should always stay a safe distance away from seals if you see them in the wild. They are naturally curious animals that may come up to you simply to explore.
There’s no need to panic around these beautiful animals, but always be well-aware of the fact that they are wild animals and can behave unpredictably at times.
Are Seals Aggressive Towards Humans?
Seals do not have a history of aggression towards humans, and for the most part, you’ll likely be totally safe around these animals.
They have no interest in causing harm to humans, but they are very curious animals that love to explore and seek out new experiences.
There are only a few recorded attacks of seals on humans. They are intelligent animals that have been known to build strong bonds with humans, oftentimes in zoos with zookeepers.
Seals in captivity have often displayed a higher degree of friendliness towards humans as they are often fed by people and come into contact with them regularly.
But out in the wild, seals may not have this type of socialization with humans, so it’s important to always respect their boundaries and give them space.
After all, they are wild animals that are more than capable of leaving humans with a nasty bite if they want to.
Are Seals Playful With Humans?
Seals are incredibly playful animals that can often be seen playing games with their zookeepers whilst in captivity.
They are smart animals that enjoy playing, socializing, and exploring. Seals have even been known to jump on people’s kayaks whilst they are out in the ocean to take a closer look at the occupant.
With that said, it’s easy to interpret the seal’s behavior as playful because they are so agile.
They are super flexible and amazing swimmers, which can sometimes give the appearance that they are playing, even when they are not.
What Is The Friendliest Seal?
Seals are incredible at reading human body language, and they are able to tell whether we mean them harm or if we’re not a threat.
Many people have had some amazing experiences with seals, even in the wild.
Due to the seals’ curious nature, they sometimes swim right up to divers to get a closer look, making for an incredible experience that the diver will never forget.
Nick Blake, a photographer that captures amazing photos of wildlife all along Britain’s coastline had an incredible experience with an Atlantic Grey seal.
The seal swam right up to Nick when he captured a photograph showing how curious and playful these animals can be.
Despite many species of seals being relatively passive towards humans, there are also some species that are dangerous for humans to be around.
Which Seals Are The Most Dangerous?
There is one species of seal that you most certainly would not want to approach and try to interact with, the Leopard seal.
The good news is that Leopard seals are only found in Antarctica and the sub-Arctic islands surrounding the region.
Leopard seals are large, territorial, and highly aggressive. They hunt penguins by waiting for them to return to land by hiding behind ice caps and taking them off guard.
They have even been known to attack Arctic explorers and have even been known to kill humans.
Despite attacks on humans being rare, Leopard seals are the most dangerous of all seal species and should not be approached under any circumstances.
Are seals friendly? No, not particularly. Although they are generally not a threat to humans and are not aggressive towards people, they are not classed as friendly.
Seals in captivity may seem friendly, but they are often being rewarded through food which is why it may seem that they are incredibly friendly animals.
Whereas wild seals that may not be used to being around humans can be territorial and more stand-offish towards humans.
That said, as a whole seals are generally not a threat to humans. They’re usually calm, playful, and curious animals that are just looked to explore humans more than anything.
Hopefully, this post has been useful and you’ve learned why seals are not overly friendly but are also not a threat to humans.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and feel free to share it with others who may find it of value.
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Hi, I’m George – the founder of MarinePatch. I created this blog as marine wildlife has been my passion for many years and I’ve spent decades learning and dedicating myself to documenting all I can about the topic.