Terrifying Moment HBO Actress Was Attacked and Bitten by Angry Seal on a Popular Beach

“They have big teeth.”

A woman was viciously attacked by a seal while swimming in the ocean off a popular South African beach, ending up in hospital with her injuries. Loulou Taylor, who plays Cassia in the HBO Max series Raised By Wolves, was in the water off Clifton Beach in Cape Town when the seal pup attacked both her and a young boy who was in the surf. Here's what video footage of the terrifying incident shows and why the seal attacked the swimmers, according to experts.

Seal Attack Number 1

Cape Town Wild/YouTube

Video footage of the incident starts with the seal pup heading for the water—there is no indication at this point that it would attack anyone. If anything, the little seal actually looked cute, but that image was put to rest the second it bit a young boy who was in the shallows. Onlookers yelled at the boy to get out of the water, but the seal got there first.

Seal Attack Number 2

Cape Town Wild/YouTube

Bystanders rushed to help the boy, pulling the seal off him and taking him onto the beach to safety. That didn't stop the seal—it got back into the water and, this time, headed for Taylor, who was treading water. The seal attacked her, and Taylor fought back but to no avail. Finally, one of the beachgoers rushed into the ocean to help her, dragging her back to safety.

Six Bites

Cape Town Wild/YouTube

While Taylor was being helped back onto the beach, a man grabbed the seal and tossed it back into the ocean. Taylor was taken to the ER for treatment. "Be careful swimming at Clifton! I was attacked by a seal in the water and bitten 6 times, requiring an ER visit and strong antibiotics," she said via social media. "They have big teeth. Thank you those who helped me in and out of the water."

Terror Of the Seas


Taylor has a sense of humor about the whole incident—she posted a picture of the Jaws poster on her Instagram, only instead of a great white shark it's a murderous seal. "Finally a cover girl! Thank you to the artist and another thank you to the men who rescued me. I still love the ocean and all of it's animals 🦭❤️," she captioned the post.

Toxic Algae?


Taylor believes the seal went crazy due to "an algae bloom that releases a neurotoxin which triggers aggressive behavior"—something backed up by experts. Officials at Hout Bay Seal Rescue Centre believe the seal was provoked by the beachgoers surrounding it. "Any predator that is surrounded and harassed like the seal was would have reacted the same way, but of course, the video doesn't show the part where the seal is being stressed by a crowd of people surrounding it," Dune Spence-Ross told News24. "Yesterday, the beachgoers were lucky… it was only a yearling approximately 12 months old, weighing no more than 10kg (22lbs) by the looks of it. If that was a fully grown seal, the headlines would have been very different."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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