Dogs Grooming

New Zealand fur seals frolic in Queensland waters off Gold and Sunshine coasts


A marine scientist and photographer has described seeing a New Zealand fur seal off Queensland’s Sunshine Coast as a tremendous, but unusual, expertise.

Key factors:

  • Lengthy-nosed fur seals are native to South Australia and New Zealand
  • The mammals are usually not generally seen in Queensland waters however have been recognized to enterprise so far as Bundaberg in winter
  • Anybody getting too near a seal could possibly be fined as much as $17,250

“It was fairly thrilling; I did not wish to depart her,” Mathew Lynn stated.

“She was simply frolicking within the water taking part in, grooming her whiskers and he or she’d stick her head below and take a look round presumably for different fish.”

Mr Lynn noticed the juvenile seal by itself on the finish of final week off the Moffat Seaside headland and alerted the Sunshine Coast Council.

He was photographing ospreys on the time.

It’s estimated the juvenile seal weighs about 35kg.(Provided: Mathew Lynn)

“There was this osprey solely about 10 toes away and it was virtually like he was posing for me after which I observed simply behind him, beneath the cliffs, a bit of black silhouette within the water … and positive sufficient it is a bit of New Zealand fur seal,” Mr Lynn stated.

Regardless of going by the identify New Zealand fur seals, the animals are also referred to as long-nosed fur seals and are native to South Australia, in addition to New Zealand.

Whereas they weren’t seen “too usually” in Queensland waters, that they had been recognized to enterprise as far north as Bundaberg throughout winter.

The Sunshine Coast sighting was the second reported in south-east Queensland in lower than every week, after one other juvenile was noticed in waters off Coolangatta.

House to play or pause, M to mute, left and proper arrows to hunt, up and down arrows for quantity.WatchPeriod: 1 minute 44 seconds1m 44sPlay Video. Duration: 1 minute 44 seconds A fur seal is noticed in waters off Coolangatta.(Provided: Division of Atmosphere and Science)

Mr Lynn believed the one which arrived on the Sunshine Coast could have been chasing meals.

“Our mullet fishery was simply opened right here about two weeks in the past so it is anecdotal, however I am assuming she follows the mullet up from additional south,” Mr Lynn stated.

“She’d clearly simply had a giant feed of fish, she was mendacity on her again, grooming her whiskers and having an excellent previous time splashing round on the backside of the cliff.”

Authorities monitor seal

After leaving Moffat Seaside, it is believed the seal travelled 20 kilometres north to Level Cartwright, the place members of the general public have been involved it was injured.

Sea Life Sunshine Coast mammals supervisor Carla Haskell inspected the seal from a distance.

She stated it seemed to be wholesome although could have been squinting with its proper eye.

“It may doubtlessly have a bit of eye harm, however aside from that it did appear to be in good situation,” she stated.

seal sunning itself on rocks at the water Ms Haskell says the seal was camouflaged properly on the rocks at Level Cartwright.(Provided: Carla Haskell)

“We do not intervene as a result of the animal is exhibiting that it is fairly properly, however I’ve had no updates up to now couple of days, which technically is an effective signal which means it is off doing seal issues.”

Sea Life and the Sunshine Coast Council have been monitoring whether or not the seal popped up at some other areas.

The council stated it was final noticed on the rock wall on the mouth of the Mooloolah River on Sunday afternoon, “nonetheless in nice situation”.

Ms Haskell stated the latest cooler climate could maintain it round briefly, however it could ultimately use its “outstanding instincts” to search out its manner house.

“I’d say it could make its manner again down south quickly … I’ve little doubt in its situation that will probably be fairly sturdy and make his manner again down when wanted,” she stated.

Ms Haskell stated it was a particular expertise to watch it within the wild.

“It was actually stunning to really watch as a result of it was simply sitting on the rocks, did not appear confused, simply chilling, laying there and had the froth of the waves simply lapping onto it,” she stated.

Seal playing in the water Ms Haskell says whereas seals are normally present in colonies or rookeries, there could be the “odd straggler”.(Provided: Mathew Lynn)

Guidelines round seals

Underneath the Nature Conservation Act, individuals want to remain no less than 40 metres from a seal on land.

Seal in the water playing A seal handed by Caloundra in 2016.(ABC Sunshine Coast: Sheridan Stewart)

The Division of Atmosphere and Science’s Frank Mills stated seals may transfer shortly over brief distances on land and should develop into aggressive in the event that they felt threatened.

“Seals come ashore to relaxation and get well from their swim, and individuals are requested to not method them and maintain their canines on a leash,” he stated.

“There are penalties for individuals who method seals on land, and anybody who tries to get near them dangers being bitten and so they may get a high-quality of as much as $17,250.”

Mr Mills stated the mammals additionally carried illnesses that could possibly be handed onto individuals.

Anybody who finds a sick or injured animal ought to name the DES hotline on 1300 130 372.

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