Leopard seal takes over
A leopard seal is making her presence well-known in the Waitemata Harbour, making Westhaven Marina her home and becoming somewhat of a nuisance.
The National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (Niwa) Auckland’s marine biosecurity team had to called off a dive for the Ministry of Primary Industries as a precaution.
Seals are known to be aggressive to humans.
Niwa marine ecology technician Andrew Miller says they will let the seal move on before attempting to do the dive again.
‘‘We decided to not as a precautionary measure as they’ve been known to be aggressive and they’re quite big beasts with sharp teeth.’’
Leopard seals are big mammals and normally found along the edge of the Antarctic.
Miller says the seals are known to occasionally swap the icy temperatures of the Antarctic and come up to the warmer waters of New Zealand.
The female seal has been quite happy swimming through the Waitemata Harbour and has been up to St Heliers.
Miller says the Department of Conservation has been monitoring the seal closely and asks members of the public to not touch the seal but take a picture and send it in to monitor her location.