The seal colony at Palliser Bay is coming ashore once more for winter. PHOTO/GRACE PRIOR
They often is the fluffy canine of the ocean, however the Division of Conservation [DOC] is urging individuals to maintain a distance from kekeno [fur seals] as they arrive ashore for winter.
Wairarapa’s Cape Palliser is prized for its giant colony of seals, attracting lots of of vacationers yearly.
However now, seals are turning as much as go to us.
DOC marine science adviser Laura Boren stated stories had been flooding in of seals turning up at uncommon places throughout the nation.
In Wairarapa final yr, a seal made its method on to a Kahutara farm 36km northeast of Palliser Bay.
Farm proprietor Hayden Rowe noticed the seal in a paddock at his property on Hikunui Rd and captured a video earlier than the seal waddled all the way down to the Ruamahanga River.
Boren stated the start of winter marked the “seal foolish season”.
“Regardless of it taking place each winter, it takes individuals without warning.”
“It’s thrilling as a result of it actually signifies that fur seals are doing nicely, and this time of yr offers for some distinctive and particular encounters with them.”
Boren stated seals usually dispersed in stormy climate and have been identified to maneuver away from the shoreline to search for security.
“In case you are driving the Palliser Rd at evening, please bear in mind seals might be on the street, and drive fastidiously.”
DOC stated in New Zealand, seals have been discovered on rocky shores across the mainland, Chatham Islands, and the subantarctic islands.
In New Zealand, breeding colonies might be discovered as far north because the Coromandel Peninsula and as far south because the subantarctic islands.
An off-the-cuff survey undertaken in March confirmed Cape Palliser’s colony might have 500-1000 seal pups.
Boren stated from Might to September, younger seals and male seals of any age might be noticed as they departed their breeding colonies to discover and relaxation.
The explorers included newly-weaned pups discovering their method on the planet.
Boren stated the record of wandering seals included one displaying up on the Hokitika Switch Station, a swim of as much as 4km from the ocean.
She stated though kekeno have been marine mammals, they spent a lot of their time on land, resting and basking within the solar.
“They’re curious and exploratory by nature, often touring up rivers. Final October, one adventurous seal within the Waikato ventured to the Hobbiton film set, 90km inland.”
Boren stated individuals would possibly really feel involved seeing younger pups alone or seals regurgitating, sneezing, coughing, or crying.
“That is all a part of their regular behaviour, and they’re very resilient animals. Watch, get pleasure from them from a distance, and allow them to be.”
Boren stated individuals ought to solely name the DOC hotline if the seals have been in fast hazard – enjoyable on a street, severely injured, or tangled in particles.
She stated DOC would solely intervene if the animal have been at risk or a heavy-traffic city space.
Retaining canine underneath management was a important solution to defend kekeno this season.
Boren stated canine must be placed on leads till they have been distant from seals.
“Practically half of the hotline calls we obtain about canine and wildlife interactions are seals or sea lions being harassed or attacked. That is certain to be a fraction of what happens.”
She stated canine and seal interactions have been a year-round subject however elevated when extra seals got here to shore within the winter.