Give elephant seal a wide berth

Published: Mon 17 Dec 2018 04:59 PM
Aucklanders have an unexpected Christmas guest on the beach, in the form of an elephant seal.
Normally resident in the sub-Antarctic islands, elephant seals do occasionally visit mainland coastlines.
The large female elephant seal has been popping up on Auckland beaches since Sunday morning, is an adult, and probably weighs just under a tonne.
Department of Conservation (DOC) Senior Biodiversity Ranger Thelma Wilson says elephant seals are very rare visitors to Auckland beaches, and it’s important to keep a respectful and very safe distance.
“Elephant seals are big and heavy, but they can move surprisingly quickly.
“They’re also well camouflaged and if you are not expecting to see one, will blend in with rocks. Beachgoers should be alert, keep an eye out and give seals a wide berth.
“Never forget that elephant seals are wild animals and will defend themselves if they feel threatened. Remember to give the elephant seal some space so that it has a pleasant holiday.”
• Always keep dogs on a leash, under control and at least 20 metres away from seals
• Ensure you keep small children at a safe distance and under your control when watching seals
• Avoid getting closer than 20 metres
• Do not get between the seal and the sea
• Do not touch or feed the seal
Thelma Wilson says it’s unusual, although not unheard of, to see elephant seals this far north, as they’re usually more likely to visit the South Island.

Next in New Zealand politics

Wellington’s Water Woes Reflect National Problem
By: Water New Zealand
National’s Economic Plan For 2020 And Beyond
By: New Zealand National Party
Abortion Legislation Bill Report Presented To The House
By: Abortion Legislation Committee
New Report A Pathfinder For Affordable Housing
By: Local Government NZ
Sallies Issue “Can Do Better” Report Card In Election Year
By: Salvation Army
Auditor-General's Report Published - Reflecting On Our Work About Water Management
By: Office of the Auditor-General
Wellington Water Infrastructure 'in Crisis', Councillor Says
Wellington Would Struggle For Enough Water To Fight Fires Post-quake
Unsustainable water use calls for warning
By: Wellington Water
Core infrastructure renewal must take priority
By: Wellington Chamber Of Commerce
Kiwis Better Off Under Coalition Government
By: New Zealand Government
Speech: National’s Economic Plan For 2020
By: New Zealand National Party
Bridges: Over-hyped And Under-delivered
By: New Zealand Government
ACT’s Ideas Needed To Make National’s Vision A Reality
By: ACT New Zealand
A Checklist For Economic Reform
By: ACT New Zealand
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media