New Zealand: Alarming Number Of Dead And Dying Seals Washing Up On New Plymouth Beaches, ‘We Don’t Know Why’
August is never a good month for seals as weeks of rough winter weather and lack of food take their toll on old and young alike.
But Conservation Department ranger Bryan Williams said more are dying this year than usual.
‘We don’t know why because they are all dying in different scenarios,’ Mr Williams said.
Some are young and starved, others are old and at the end of their life and others still are dropping dead in the water and floating into Port Taranaki.
Should anyone see a seal on the beach or on land they should keep well clear and give DOC a call, Mr Williams said.
‘And if they have a dog they should put it on a lead. For some reason seals and dogs don’t mix. Those little chihuahua-type dogs, a decent seal will chomp one of those in one mouthful.’
Mr Williams said it was common for seals to come ashore for as long as three days during winter months.
‘And when they do that they get weepy around the eyes. People think they are sick but this is normal.’
New Plymouth’s seal colony varies in number from 300 in the summer to 500 now.
As many as 12 seal pups are born in late December and January and it is around this time of year sightings of the infamous white pointer shark dubbed the ‘Taranaki Terror’ are some times made.
The female shark is thought to be as much as 6 metres long and was last seen in Taranaki waters two years ago.” Source – Taranaki Daily News Online.