Con­duct signed and sealed

Kaikoura Star - - FRONT PAGE -

Firstly, the track is in need of re­pair af­ter heavy rain. The re­pairs may not be done for a cou­ple of weeks sopeo­ple are urged to be cau­tious, par­tic­u­larly af­ter heavy rain. Part of the track, just af­ter the foot­bridge, can be flooded and the track is slip­pery.

That said, vis­i­tors are asked to stick to the track not wan­der off around the stream and in­hibit the seals’ way up­stream.

While people think the seals are wait­ing to be pho­tographed, this is not so he says; they must be re­spected and given space.

While there are signs clearly ex­plain­ing how to treat the seals, this is largely be­ing ig­nored.

In­cred­i­bly, Cowan has fished out six bal­loons over the past week which people have thought the seals would like to play with.

‘‘Please do not take balls, toys or any­thing else for the seals. They are play­ful, in­quis­i­tive, but please do not try to hu­man­ise them.’’

Also found at the side of the stream have been cans of sar­dines and tuna, even a piece of ham roll.

‘‘. . . the seals are only drink­ing milk while they are at the wa­ter­fall. Once they start eat­ing fish they will be at sea hunt­ing.’’

The vol­un­teer pro­gramme run in past years to pro­tect the seals and ed­u­cate vis­i­tors starts again later this month. Any­one in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a vol­un­teer is asked to call the DOC of­fice on 03 319 5714 to reg­is­ter and pick up a train­ing pack. The first train­ing ses­sion is at the DOC of­fice, Lud­stone Rd on Wed­nes­day May 14, 6pm till 7.30pm.

The plan is to cover the busy pe­riod be­tween Thurs­day or Fri­day and Sun­day each week, but if more vol­un­teers come for­ward the site will be manned on other days too.

Vol­un­teers, work­ing in pairs, are likely to be re­quired to cover one shift a fort­night.

Cute but wild: The Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion is warn­ing people not to in­ter­fere with the seal pups at Ohau Wa­ter­fall.

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