Seals are wild predators (even the largest in the Netherlands). They won't normally come near people. Or they will get into the water if someone comes too close. But sometimes seals stay in places where many people come. For example, the beach. Just as you were on a nice walk. Lucky you! Because that's a pretty rare sight. Do you know what to do?

On this page you can read how the seal possibly got there. More importantly so, you find out what you can do to help the animal.

gestrande zeehond

Weak and ill seals

When the weather is very bad, it can be exhausting for a seal to swim. Especially if a seal is already weakened. For example, if they are injured, or ill. They will often rest in the first suitable spot, such as the beach.

Severely weakened animals have no energy to flee if people come too close. However, not every weak or ill seal is in need of direct care. How can you help the animal?

What you can do for a weakened seal on the beach

  • Do not chase the seal into the water (the seal needs to rest)
  • Keep your distance (at least 30 metres)
  • Try to keep others (and children) at a distance too
  • Keep dogs on a leash (no matter how well trained, both dog and seal can react unexpectedly in this situation. There are also diseases that can be transmitted from dog to seal and vice versa)
  • Call us on +31 (0)595- 526 526. We will handle it from there
  • Always listen to the seal guards’ advice; they are our eyes and ears on the beach, recognisable by their yellow vests
dit moet je doen als je een zeehond tegenkomt

A seal on the beach

Imagine the following: you are walking on the beach to clear your head. Yesterday it was stormy, but today's weather conditions are perfect. After walking for a bit, you see a dark figure lying very still on the beach. For a moment, you think it is a piece of driftwood. But as you get closer, a head pops up – it is a seal.

The seal doesn't move much, even when you get closer. It lifts its head to look at you, but does not go into the water. Now you know what to do, right?

Report a seal. Seen a seal in need? Call 144 (24 hours a day available) Read more.