Gary Oliver used a long lens for this photo. He believes it is the same seal that bit the woman on the leg.
© Gary Oliver
Gary Oliver used a long lens for this photo. He believes it is the same seal that bit the woman on the leg.
A woman in her 70s remains in hospital after she was bitten by a seal near a boat ramp at Port Fairy, a popular seaside town in south-west Victoria, over the weekend.

Paramedics reported the bite went "through to the bone" at the wharf late on Saturday afternoon.

Seal 'lunged out of the water'

Helene Whelan and her partner witnessed the attack and helped the woman after the seal lunged at her.

She said they had stopped after noticing a crowd around the boardwalk.

"We noticed the seals there so we took a couple of photos and tried to walk back and this lady approached the seal," Ms Whelan said.

"She was walking on the boardwalk. She was walking past with her dog and she was standing there ... about to walk off and the seal literally lunged out of the water and bit her leg.

"She just started screaming. It was really terrifying.
"It had lunged up at us a few times before — that's why were we like, okay, let's leave it, it's obviously getting irritated."
A neighbour brought towels over to help the injured woman and Ms Whelan's husband called emergency services.

They waited with her until the paramedics arrived.

Ms Whelan said the woman was on holidays and happened to be in "the wrong place at the wrong time".
"The bit that annoyed me afterward was everyone continued to chase it and take photos and videos of it while the seal was so aggressive," she said.
The Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) said it was investigating the incident and had put up signs warning people of the seal's presence and urging them to keep their distance.

Senior forest and wildlife officer Ian Westthorpe said the 100-kilogram seal had been at the Battery Lane boat ramp for the past four months.

"The seal ... has become dependent on discarded fish scraps from anglers," he said.
"Seals can be unpredictable and, despite their cumbersome appearance, can move quickly over short distances."
People can be fined $242 on the spot for feeding a seal, with a maximum penalty of $3,223.80.

Under wildlife regulations, dogs are not permitted within 50 metres of a seal on land or in the water, and people should not come within 30 metres of a seal on land.