Travelling seal takes holiday on Te Poi farm
A farmer couldn’t believe his eyes when he noticed a large mammal sunbathing beside an inland stream on his property.
It must be a pig, Martin Miles thought. But on closer inspection, he discovered a ‘‘big’’ fur seal.
The Waiomou River, which runs through his farm in Te Poi, is 86km from the Firth of Thames, the most likely entry point.
‘‘I got about 15 metres from him, took photos and then into the water he went and disappeared,’’ Miles said.
‘‘I thought that was the end of him.’’
Miles kept an eye out for his new friend every morning, but the seal disappeared for a few days. Go on to the Matamata Chronicle, Neighbourly.co.nz page to view Rexine’s video of the marine visitor. He turned up mornings later.
‘‘I’ve never seen a seal here before, some pretty good sized eels and trout, but never a seal.’’
And while it’s an odd animal to find on a rural farm, DOC says it’s actually not all that uncommon.
Seal pup weaning season has begun and more of the mammals will begin to appear along shorelines, up streams and rivers. again a few
DOC has a hands-off approach - while seals look cute, they can be aggressive.
‘‘Although very charismatic, they are wild animals and should be treated with respect,’’ DOC said in a statement.
‘‘They can be very aggressive if threatened and it is also a breach of the Marine Mammals Protection Act.’’
DOC will only intervene if the animal is in danger, such as getting too close to a road, tangled in debris, being harassed at a very public beach or injured.
Miles says the seal is welcome to stay in the stream as long as it likes.
‘‘I love it. I hope he can stay for a while. He just can’t eat my trout,’’ he says, laughing.
It’s likely the tired seal travelled 86km from the Firth of Thames before deciding to have a rest on Martin Miles’ property.