Resting seals a no-go zone

They aren't called leopard seals for nothing.

They aren't called leopard seals for nothing.

NOT SO CUTE AFTER ALL: East Coast beaches are a hotspot for resting seals but Department of Conservation is warning people to keep their distance.
New Zealand Herald picture

A VISITING leopard seal on Kopututea Beach (between Midway and the old rubbish dump) last week was a timely reminder for beachgoers to steer clear of resting seals, says the Department of Conservation.

East Coast operations manager John Lucas says after receiving an influx of calls from concerned public, DoC is warning people to stay away.

“I must stress the importance of keeping your distance and ensuring dogs are on a leash.”

You should avoid getting closer than 20 metres, not get between the seal and the sea and refrain from feeding or touching the seal.

Mr Lucas says while seals may look harmless, they will defend themselves if they feel threatened and can also carry infectious diseases.

Expect to see more seals ashore over the next few months.

“It is not unusual for seals to be seen at this time of the year,” said Mr Lucas. “Between August to November, newly-weaned fur seal pups and juveniles come ashore but it’s just a resting-up period for them before they head out to sea again in search of food.”

DoC has a hands-off policy with seals and will only intervene if a seal is severely injured or in a dangerous place.
In that case, people can call the DoC 24-hour hotline on 0800-362-468.

A VISITING leopard seal on Kopututea Beach (between Midway and the old rubbish dump) last week was a timely reminder for beachgoers to steer clear of resting seals, says the Department of Conservation.

East Coast operations manager John Lucas says after receiving an influx of calls from concerned public, DoC is warning people to stay away.

“I must stress the importance of keeping your distance and ensuring dogs are on a leash.”

You should avoid getting closer than 20 metres, not get between the seal and the sea and refrain from feeding or touching the seal.

Mr Lucas says while seals may look harmless, they will defend themselves if they feel threatened and can also carry infectious diseases.

Expect to see more seals ashore over the next few months.

“It is not unusual for seals to be seen at this time of the year,” said Mr Lucas. “Between August to November, newly-weaned fur seal pups and juveniles come ashore but it’s just a resting-up period for them before they head out to sea again in search of food.”

DoC has a hands-off policy with seals and will only intervene if a seal is severely injured or in a dangerous place.
In that case, people can call the DoC 24-hour hotline on 0800-362-468.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    ​Would you like to see the Government invest in a network of sensors on the seafloor over the Hikurangi subduction zone, and a tsunami early-warning system?