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Thursday, October 21, 2010


I came across this story in The China Mail of September 30th 1920 or 1929 - unfortunately the type is unclear. I am not sure whether or not it is significant; I never knew seals attacked humans unless provoked. If indeed they were seals. The China Mail, for those of you new to my blogs, was a Hong Kong newspaper.


Consternation has been caused among timid holiday folk at Home by the theory that many bathing fatalities attributed to cramp are due to the bathers having been seized by seals and dragged beneath. According to experts there is no need for any fear on this score.

“I do not think it is at all likely.” Said Mr Oldfield Thomas F.R.S. (of the Natural History Museum) “ I have never heard of such as case, and do not believe a seal, which lives chiefly on small fish, would molest a human being.” This opinion was concurred in by Mr C.T. Regan, F.R.S. and other authorities.

Though seals have violent quarrels at mating time, they are usually timid and inoffensive, and probably the most docile of all wild animals when in captivity. The seal, however, is noted for its curiosity, and might be attracted by some of the bathing costumes now in vogue. (1)

1. The China Mail. September 30th 1920/1929

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

Leopard seals are said to be ferocious and even occasionally attack humans.
Then again it might be a stag party of unmated males spoiling for a rough-and-tumble, it is also said that young male elephant seals are prone to rowdy behavior.

A physical description of the seals in question would help.