Sydney Seal ‘Alex’ Gets Caught On Bondi Beach Drum Line, Sparking Outrage

"Those drum line have GOT TO GO!!!"

Sydney Seal ‘Alex’ Gets Caught On Bondi Beach Drum Line, Sparking Outrage

Image: 9News

In a saddening bit of local news for Sydneysiders and Australias more widely, a seal unwittingly hooked itself onto one of Bondi Beach’s drum lines, causing much upset among residents.

There’s no denying that there are some scary creatures lurking on, around, and underneath the Australian continent. You only need to take a look at this ‘huge structure‘ discovered earlier this month or a Sydney duo’s close encounter with a Great White Shark to understand what we mean. One slightly less terrifying entity that found itself entangled today, however, was Alex, a seal native to Bondi Beach.

In footage captured and shared by @dronesharkapp before being shared by 9 News, the seal can be seen floating along behind a drum line, the large metal hook of which has become lodged in its mouth. Thankfully, the incident was quickly reported and authorities were dispatched to assist.

In the footage, the seal can be seen being pulled closer to the assistance boat before being unhooked and swimming away quite happily — if with a large tear in the bottom of his mouth — much to the delight of the cameraman who claims to have “shed a tear”.

WATCH: Alex narrowly survives his encounter with the drum line.

The drum lines are designed to keep dangerous sharks at bay which — given that Australia recorded 24 shark attacks on humans in 2021 and 19 in 2022 — is not entirely unjustified. However, these defence measures have been controversial for some time precisely because of incidents like this, whereby innocent wildlife suffers while sharks swim on unscathed.

This sentiment was reflected in much of the online commentary around the incidents, with people swarming to social media to decry the use of drum lines. Top comments on one post included “Thank you, people need to see this”, “It’s their home, not ours” and, most concisely:

“Those drum line have GOT TO GO!!!”


Whatever your stance, we’re just happy that this Bondi legend survived his unfortunate run-in. However, if any seals happen to be reading this — or even Bondi swimmers, surfers, and animal rights enthusiasts — watch out, there are drum lines about.