Friendly Grey Seal Gives British Doctor A Loving Hug
A British GP has experienced the encounter of a lifetime when a wild grey seal lovingly hugged him and patted his arm. Ben Burville, a doctor by day and veteran diver of over 32 years by night, received the loving embrace and warming taps on the arm by the seal whilst he was diving off the coast of the Farne Islands, Northumberland, UK, in September.
Showing behavioral traits much like a pup longing for attention, the seal energetically moved toward Ben submerged, seeming to tap the jumper so as to pick up his consideration before folding its flippers over him for the pair to share a comforting hug. The seal continued to remain stuck to the specialist's arm, having all the earmarks of being completely engaged by the specialist's eye veil and breathing gear.
Ben said: “I realize that I am incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity and insight into their world that this facilitates. “Having dived and observed gray seals for over 18 years, they have shown me how to dive with them in a way that they feel at ease. “Seals are not pets, nor are they in any way tame - these are wild seals with the population fluctuating all the time with new seals joining and others moving away. “Very rarely do I dive with the same seal. “Mostly it involves how I breathe, controls my buoyancy, moves underwater and uses hand signals - I have also learned that certain noises are of interest to the seals. “When they hug you or hold your hand it is hard to describe the feeling - time stops. “You are 100 percent aware of being in that very moment, peaceful, calm, and I suppose the term is mindful.
Ben works full-time as a GP in the coastal town of Amble, Northumberland. He also works as a researcher at the Newcastle University's marine biology department where he studies grey seals and white dolphins.
Ben believes that the gray seals in Britain represent 40 percent of the total number of all the gray seals in the world. He says that seals have awareness of what is integral to him and also of his kit. This can result in them playing games where they will try to remove his mask, clip included, or hood, for example. They will do that so gently and they would never hurt him.
However, his advise is to never touch wildlife underwater especially grey seals because they have really long claws and numerous bacteria in their mouths. There is something really magical in nature.
Gray seals are very large mammals and they spend most of their time out at sea where they feed on fish. They can easily be spotted at the surface close to the shore, onto rocks and beaches where they rest or they digest their food.
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