Relaxed Seal Jumps on Paddleboard, Chills in Sun in Viral Video

Footage of a seal climbing onto a paddleboarder's board has been seen by thousands after it was uploaded to social media.

The video was captured by Cenk Albayrak-Touyé, who was enjoying the sun while paddleboarding in Poole Harbour on the south coast of the U.K.

Albayrak-Touyé started recording as the seal approached. The video shows how the animal swims right up to the paddleboard before hopping out of the water and slumping over it.

The seal then appears to bask in the sun for well over a minute, apparently not fazed by Albayrak-Touyé sitting right behind it, before slipping back into the water. The footage can be seen below.

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The footage has been watched nearly 10,000 times, with hundreds taking to Facebook to comment.

Albayrak-Touyé told local news outlet The Bournemouth Daily Echo it was only the fourth or fifth time he had been out on the paddleboard.

He said: "I had seen the seal's head pop up a few yards away from me, then it came up by the board and just got on.

"If this happens again I would be very lucky but I am not going to get my hopes up."

The novice paddleboarder said he didn't want to touch the seal because it seemed to be relaxed where it was.

It is not unheard of for seals to be spotted in the area, with several sightings reported last year.

It is also not the first time that seals have curiously approached humans on the water. In 2017 a seal surprised a group of kayakers in Scotland, U.K., by crawling out of the water and onto their rafts.

The animal eyes the kayakers a number of times while straddling the boats and even smells the hand of one of them before suddenly leaping back into the water.

Alistair Forrest, who captured a video of that particular occurrence, told National Geographic at the time that he was nervous initially because "you never know how [the seal] could react." He said he was concerned people might go looking for similar experiences.

Leanna Matthews, a seal biologist at the University of Syracuse, told National Geographic that people who encounter a seal on the water should "let it go about its day" and warned against touching it.

U.K. wildlife organization The Wildlife Trusts states on its website that seals should be given plenty of space and that those in boats or kayaks should maintain a distance of at least 100 meters (328ft) where possible.

A seal
A seal pictured at the National Seal Sanctuary in England, U.K., on January 1990, unrelated to the incident involving the paddleboarder. The animals are sometimes seen around the area where the paddleboarder was. Tim Graham/Getty