How thrilling! This is definitely on my ‘bucket list’ – an amazing close-up and personal encounter!
“Seals compete to be man’s best friend as they roll over to have their bellies tickled and nuzzle up to divers in the North Sea”, published 22 January 2014 by Lucy Crossley .
- Seal pups were captured on camera off the coast of Northumberland
- Animals believed to be two months old, and already weigh 200-300lbs
- Curious pups cosy up to scuba divers as they play on the sea bed
- Seal mammals are unlikely to see humans again once they reach adulthood
Playfully nuzzling up to the camera and warmly embracing a team of divers, these cute seal pups appear more like household pets as they frolic in the North Sea.The seals, believed to be around two months old, were unperturbed by the divers and their cameras as they butt their noses against the camera lens and enjoy having their bellies tickled.The adorable pups were captured on camera by scuba diver Jason Neilus as he and his friends took to the chilly waters off the Farne Islands in Northumberland.
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Seal of approval: A friendly seal pup cosies up to a scuba diver off the coast of Northumberland
Tickled: This playful seal enjoys having its belly tickled by one of the divers
‘We’ve been visiting here for the last six years to say hello to the seal pups and we’ve never had this much interaction before,’ he wrote on his Vimeo blog.
‘They were everywhere and all over us.’
The seals were filmed in October last year, just before the St Jude’s Storm battered Britain and much of northern Europe.
Friendly: This seal appears more like a household dog or cat as it rolls over to be tickled
Encounter: A pup shakes hands, or rather paws, with one of its new human friends
Friendly face: The seals, believed to be around two months old, were unperturbed by the divers and their cameras
Nibble: This cheeky pup appears to be nibbling on the diver’s glove
‘After a nightmare drive there with the worst traffic coupled with the imminent arrival of the St. Jude storm we didn’t think this trip was going to be worth the effort but once again the seals made every second worthwhile,’ said Mr Neilus.
Filmed without lights, so as not to upset the young seal pups, the clip captures the curious creatures as they play in their natural habitat – cosying up to the divers without a care in the world.
In the videom which has been viewed 123,000 times on Vimeo, one pup even swims into one for its new friends for a quick cuddle, while others dart across the sea bed, pausing to cheekily nibble the divers’ fingers.
Along for the ride: A playful pup grabs hold of a diver’s flipper
Tag along: The seals were around two months old at the time they were filmed, but had already grown to two metres long, and weighed around 200 to 300lbs
Close encounter: Diver Mr Neilus said he had not expected to come face to face with so many seals
Natural habitat: A seal frolics in the water
Curious: This seal gives the underwater camera a closer inspection
Underwater: The clip captures the curious creatures as they play in their natural habitat
Mr Neilus was quick to point out that as wild animals the seals chose to interact with the divers, and were not forced to interact with the group. None of the seals were harmed by diver interaction.
The seals were around two months old at the time they were filmed, but had already grown to two metres long, and weighed around 200 to 300lbs…
‘As always once the seals get older and move off to form colonies of their own elsewhere and the majority of them will not see people again.
‘Fully adult seals are rarely this interactive and whilst tolerant of divers they tend to keep away after their first year of diver visits,’ said Mr Neilus.
Star of the show: A seal swoops in the take a look at the camera
Face to face: The seals chose to interact with the divers, and were not forced to interact with the group
Technique: The divers filmed their seal encounter with special underwater cameras
Heart of darkness: The crew did not use lights so they did not upset the young seals
Growing up: Once the pups reach adulthood the majority of them will move away to form new colonies
Divers say hello to the seal pups with lots of interaction and playfulness