Animals

By James Speakman and Sophie Norris


This photogenic seal looks like he’s been watching Zoolander as he pulled his best Blue Steel poses and clapped for the camera – before coyly hiding behind a flipper.

The modelling mammal struck a series of coquettish poses while leisurely soaking up the sun, before noticing he was on camera and shyly shielding himself from the lens.

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Taken by Colin Edwards, the sequence of snaps captures the life of seals on Norfolk’s Horsey Beach.

Professional wildlife photographer Colin, 42, had taken some students to view the 200-strong herd when he saw the playful bull at one of the UK’s seal viewing hot-spots.

Dad-of-one Colin from Haverhill, Suffolk, said: “The seals are always fantastic because they pull such great faces.

“This one looks like he’s from Zoolander.

“It was in the early morning and he was laid back enjoying the sun as it rose.

“The way he was lay on the beach and playing to the camera was really funny.

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“He noticed us and covered his eyes playfully. He kept doing this then running his flipper through his fur, as if wiping his forehead.

“Then he would cover his eyes as if he was embarrassed and clap his flippers together.

“We were watching him for hours and he would cover his eyes for 10 minutes, then clap and lie back.

“I’ve always wondered whether they do play up to the camera because they’re so funny.

“Most seals do just bask for hours but as soon as they see someone, they do seem to play up.”

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Colin was watching the seals for eight hours and said it’s easy to form a connection with them when they’re comfortable with humans.

Colin said: “This one was around two years old so not quite a pup but still not fully grown.

Seals are great to spend time with and photograph.

 “We were there for eight hours, but they’d be there all day long lazing around.

“They’ll occasionally jump into the water on regular intervals to cool down.

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“It’s great seeing the seals because they all have character to them and they do play peekaboo when they spot humans.

“I was always a lover of wildlife before I become a photographer and for me the importance is making sure that the wildlife is at ease with you.

“Being in their environment, nothing should come before the welfare of the wildlife and you can tell they’re comfortable when they behave like this.”