An actress has described the terrifying moment she was savaged by an "aggressive" seal that attacked swimmers on a beach in South Africa.
Loulou Taylor was swimming in the surf off Cape Town on Tuesday when the seal began to chase her. Video footage of the attack shows the seal heading straight for her as beachgoers shout to warn her to get out of the water.
The attack was so swift she thought she was being attacked by a young shark, Ms Taylor said. Gruesome snaps taken later in hospital show how the seal left two of her fingers gashed and bloodied before they were bandaged up by medics.
Ms Taylor — from the US — has been living in Cape Town since she fell in love with the city while filming the hit TV series 'Raised By Wolves'.
"I was the woman attacked by the seal at Clifton 4th while swimming yesterday," she told local media. "I ended up at the ER with several bad puncture wounds requiring antibiotics and observation. Grateful to the men who helped me in the water!
"The attack happened around noon. I swim at Clifton often, nearly daily. I was enjoying the water when I heard people on the shore shouting and whistling. There were many swimmers in the water when I went in, and then suddenly, I noticed I was alone.
"They continued shouting at me and then I saw a very fast dark shape coming straight for me, and I felt it bite me! I initially thought it was a small shark, and I started screaming and trying to swim away but also defend myself because it was repeatedly biting me.
"I felt it bite both hands, my right hand, at least twice, and it continued to attack me violently when I was pulled from the water and rescued by those men."
Ms Taylor later took to social media to assure her followers she still loves "the ocean and all of its animals".
Seal also attacks young boy
Just moments before the attack, video footage shows beachgoers cooing over the seal as it appears in the surf. "Ah, cute seal," one person says.
But the joy turns to horror when the seal, without warning, attacks a screaming child, biting his leg and refusing to let go. Another swimmer eventually grabs the seal and hurls it out into deeper water, where it set its sights on Ms Taylor.
The actress later explained that the seal's aggressive behaviour could have been caused by climate change.
"Recent surge in seal attacks is linked to an algae bloom that releases a neurotoxin which triggers an aggressive behaviour," Ms Taylor — who has appeared in hit movies 'Detour' and 'Good Life' — said.
"What might cause the algae blooms? More likely global warming and water pollution."
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