A large seal has been spotted on a Tauranga highway this morning.
A Tauranga resident who only wants to be known as Callum, saw the seal on Takitimu Drive at 2am.
He wants to warn people in case it is still around.
Callum says it was where traffic from 15th Ave merges on to Takitumu Drive. Near the large building that has billboards as you go past it.
The seal was heading into the small creek there.
The Department of Conservation website states that from July to September each year there’s an influx in adolescent seals appearing on our shores and further inland. This is because seal pups begin to wean as their mothers prepare for new pups.
DOC recommends that on finding a New Zealand fur seal it’s usually best to leave it alone, however, there are exceptions.
DOC takes a ‘hands off’ approach to seals. Seals are capable and resilient and given time and space, they usually find their way home.
Seals are wild animals and will defend themselves if they feel threatened. Adult seals can move surprisingly quickly on land. While they can look harmless, seals can inflict serious injuries to dogs or people and can carry infectious diseases.
It is an offence under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 to disturb, harass, harm, injure or kill a seal. A dog owner whose dog attacks a seal could face prosecution.
DOC provide safety guidelines when watching seals. You should stay at least 20 m away, don’t disturb seals by making loud noises or throwing things, keep dogs and children away, don’t feed the seals, and never attempt to touch a seal.
More information on seals and what to do if you come across one can be found on the Department of Conservation website http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/seals/nz-fur-seal/what-to-do/
The seal is now in Koromiko Street. Photo: NIck Bate.