Shakira and the problem of the Thames seals




There's something about pinnipeds that always raises a smile, even when they're attacking the blameless Shakira. My working theory is they're cute because they are animals with human characteristics and funny because they do the human stuff badly.

Seals clap like uncoordinated toddlers and, at least on land, sea lions are like those obese tough guys who act hard, but who run out of breath after one punch. No wonder that mound of slippery blubber - no, not you, Boris - was reduced to picking on pint-sized Shakira.

You'd like to think Shakira's lucky escape was an isolated incident, but it turns out even here in London, we should be on our guard for pinniped aggression.

In 2003, a swimmer in the Thames had his foot broken after being jumped by a seal and, as a consequence of the success in cleaning up our river, there has been a rise in the local population of not only seals, but also dolphins and porpoises.

Probably that's why Shakira has no concerts planned for London anytime soon.