They may look cute and cuddly – but coastal holiday-makers have been warned of the dangers of seals.
Indeed, parents are being told that the animals could “take a child's arm off”.
And now, notices instructing the public not to feed or play with seals have been posted up at a popular seaside in Cornwall in the south-west of England, where tourists are increasingly swimming with the animals.
They were erected by the town's harbour master, Steve Bassett, who is worried that someone will be attacked by the powerful mammals.
Mr Bassett said: "I'm afraid that some day someone will lose an arm. If seals are both going for territory they can be extremely aggressive.
"And when a hand comes out towards them they will thinks that's food."
He added: "God forbid something should happen, but one day a seal is going to feel trapped and bite back. Seals are massive and the power they have in their jaws is unbelievable."
He also highlighted that seals were being drawn to the harbour by the prospect of food.
Meanwhile, seal expert Gill Bell, head of conservation at the Marine Conservation Society in Wales, said wild creatures should not be interfered with.
"You would not allow a child to approach a wild dog with food, so why allow them to approach a seal?
"Seals are like toddlers, they will put anything in their mouth."
She added that seals carried diseases which were highly infectious to humans so even a small bite could cause serious harm.
"You should never swim over to where they are because that's when you get issues," she said. "The main concern is that they could misinterpret an action as a supposed threat.
"They are very gorgeous to look at and that's what we should be doing, looking at them and not getting close to them."
Closer to home in Wicklow harbour, Sammy the seal is a favourite among locals. The animal often leaves the safety of the water to beg for fish from a nearby chipper - an activity regularly captured on social media platforms.