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Amazing images show curious seal trying to ‘hitch a ride’ on a boat in Shetland

AMAZING images show a curious seal trying to ‘hitch a ride’ on a boat in the Northern Isles of Scotland.

David Leybourne, 60, spotted the hilarious moment while walking past Lerwick Harbour in Shetland yesterday.

Images show the friendly mammal resting on the side of the boat, only a few metres away from surprised passengers.

In one shot, the seal appears to be waving as it greeted visitors on the tour boat, shortly before they were due to set off.

The seal looked like it was waving at the passengers
The seal looked like it was waving at the passengers. (C) David Leybourne

Another image shows the animal lying on its belly and using its fins to hold on to the boat.

While a third photograph shows the seal in a more relaxed pose – laying sideways along one of the exits to the boat as it basks in the sunshine.

David shared the images on social media later on that day, writing: “Hi, do you have fishes?

“Lerwick Harbour earlier today.”

Hundreds of people have liked the post and left comments about the seal’s friendly nature.

The seal sprawled its body across one of the exits
The seal sprawled its body across one of the exits. (C) David Leybourne

One said: “Great photos, it is unbelievable how trusting this animal is.

“Love this so much.”

Another wrote: “Loving this.

“A wonderful feel good moment amid the insanity of other current global madness.”

A third added: “This has made my entire day.”

While a fourth commented: “Brilliant photos.”

One person questioned: “I wonder sometimes what leads them to do this? Hunger? Need a place to rest? Curiosity? Hitching a ride?”

Speaking today, David said: “The seal lives in the harbour and does this to a few boats.

“In the morning it will jump on and the owner will give it a fish and it will jump off.

“Once the passengers were seated it jumped on in the ten minutes it took to get the boat ready to leave the harbour.

The owner of the boat threw a fish into the sea for the seal to eat
The owner of the boat threw a fish into the sea for the seal to eat. (C) David Leybourne

“There was no contact with humans and the seal.

“There was no fear from the passengers.

“The kids loved it, but they were warned that it wasn’t a pet.”

Some of the Shetland seals are extraordinarily tame, thanks to their habit of following fishing boats in hope of a free meal.

Lerwick Harbour is one of the best places in the world to see both species at close range.

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