Dec 19 2017

Safety warning: stay clear of leopard seals this summer

Owha the Leopard Seal has made her way back to Westhaven Marina and this year it seems she's bought a mate. 

Last summer Owha was spotted in Westhaven Marina and elsewhere in the Waitemata Harbour. This year she's returned with a companion, a smaller seal that the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has named Novy.

While the seals are exciting to look at, they also pose a significant risk to public safety. If you spot a seal, DOC advises that you stay at least 20m back. As wild animals, they may appear sedate, but they can move very quickly, both on water and on land, and unfortunately they can be aggressive.  Please also keep your children well away, and your dog under control on a short leash. 

More information, such as what to do if you spot a seal on a pontoon and cannot get past, is available on the Westhaven website.

Both seals are being tracked by NIWA scientists.