Long-nosed fur seal spotted in River Murray near Mannum | VIDEO

Long-nosed fur seal spotted in River Murray near Mannum | VIDEO

A LONG-NOSED fur seal has been spotted frolicking in the River Murray near Mannum.

A video posted on the Mannum Progress Suggestion Group Facebook page on July 20 shows a seal swimming around in the river just downstream from Mannum.

The post received comments claiming recent seal sightings at Pompoota, Ponde and Wall Flat while another river user sent The Standard a video of a seal in the Murray near Wall Flat, captured on June 20.

Department for Environment and Water Wildlife Management principal ecologist Karl Hillyard said seals travelling so far upstream in the river away from the ocean was uncommon but it wasn't unheard of.

'Beyond this one or handful of animals at the moment, the last report - speaking to other colleagues at the department - that we are aware of was the animal that was around in 2015 ... it's not surprising but it's not frequent," he said.

In 2015, a seal was mysteriously found in a paddock near Strathalbyn. A seal was then spotted near Sturt Reserve in Murray Bridge in 2015 and further sightings of the animals prompted the cancellation of the Ski Racing SA titles.

Mr Hillyard said the Department for Environment and Water was aware of the sighting near Wall Flat and said the animals were not dangerous to the River Murray ecosystem.

"The long-nosed fur seal is an animal that is native to South Australia and it's recovering since it was heavily exploited around the time of white settlement," he said.

"As a species that is recovering in numbers it's an unusual circumstance (to be spotted int he Murray) - not dangerous, novel more than anything else."

He said it was not clear exactly why seals sometimes traveled upstream into fresh water.

"It is a time of year when you get fish kills in the river, those natural mortality events that occur in the winter, perhaps it has come up to exploit them, perhaps it's just off exploring," he said.

River user Mitchell Dawson said the animal spotted on June 20 near Wall Flat looked quite young.