By Laura Boren, Senior Technical Support Officer – Marine Mammals, Department of Conservation
Every winter there will be a few young NZ fur seals who find themselves in interesting places, often to the surprise and amusement of the people who stumble across them.
It’s a common occurrence – they are just coming ashore to rest and will move on in their own time.
This fur seal pup found a cosy position by a spa pool in the Marlborough Sounds community of Anakiwa. The exciting thing for me was that the spa pool belonged to friends of my family. So, on a Sunday afternoon I received an excited phone call from the Biggs family asking me what they should do.
“If it’s not interfering with anything just leave it,” I said.
“Enjoy it while it’s there – just give it some space because at this time of the year it might not be in great condition and will want to rest.
“It’ll leave when it’s ready,” I assured them.
Later that day I had an equally excited phone call from my parents. My father had been to see the seal pup and had taken several photos. From the photos we could confirm that it was one of this year’s pups, and was likely to have weaned early – seal pups usually wean around 10 months of age, but this one would only be about 7 months old.
So, the pup hung around for the afternoon, resting next to the warm spa pool and, just as suspected, the following morning was gone.