Doctor builds incredible friendship with adorable seals

THIS unusual friendship is SEAL-ed with a kiss – as a diver poses for snaps with his new furry friend.

Ben Burville, a GP from Northumberland, has struck up the incredible relationship with a colony of inquisitive seals.

Members of the pod can be seen holding hands, kissing and playing with the creatures.

Very Friendly Seals

Dr. Ben Burville comes face-to-face with an inquisitive seal

He is now so well recognised by them that they instantly swim up to him – and Ben admits to spending every spare moment in the water with his news friends.

Ben said: “Seals are a lot brighter than people think. They are social animals and they are incredibly inquisitive.

“Seals can grasp with their flippers, which are like a human hand.

Very Friendly Seals

A seal interacts with Dr. Ben Burville

“They are big animals, but it is also interesting to see how gentle they can be.

“They are naturally inquisitive, and I think at times they will come up close and inspect a diver as a way of asserting their place in the seal hierarchy. It’s saying ‘I’m bold.’
“They like to play, with divers and with each other.”

Ben, who works at a practice in Amble, regular dives off the Northumberland coast around Coquet Island and the Farne islands.

The doctors incredible journey began when his wife Kirsty – who also dives – bought a digital camera with an underwater housing.


Ben added: “I was addicted.”

Very Friendly Seals

Dr. Ben Burville holds hands with a seal

Using his new gear, he set about filming the regular dives on the sea floor.

And after positing the videos to social media, they quickly went viral – and has appeared on the BBC show Countryfile.

Very Friendly Seals

Playing with a friendly seal

His footage has now prompted the Newcastle-based Marine Management Organisation to ask him to carry out a five-year underwater filming study of white-beaked dolphins off the North East coast.

Ben said of the project: “We have to protect our marine heritage because if we don’t it will not be there for future generations.”