Another crabeater seal swims up the Hutt River

Discuss natural history subjects not strictly related to birds. Reports of interesting mammal, reptile, and invertebrate sightings are welcome.
Colin Miskelly
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Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Another crabeater seal swims up the Hutt River

Postby Colin Miskelly » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:32 am

Hi all

About 3 years ago I suggested in a Te Papa blog that the best way to see a crabeater seal in New Zealand was to sit by the mouth of the Hutt River and wait 25 years. It didn't take that long, as New Zealand's 11th crabeater seal made its way north from Otago and Canterbury, like a moth to a flame:

https://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2019/07/24/crabeater-seals-and-their-mysterious-attraction-to-the-hutt-river-the-sequel/

Unfortunately the animal expired during an attempt to release it back on the coast on Monday morning, which was the first I heard about it.

Regards
Colin
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David Riddell
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:46 pm

Re: Another crabeater seal swims up the Hutt River

Postby David Riddell » Tue Apr 19, 2022 8:41 am

And it looks like there's now another one, just reported on iNaturalist, though it was actually seen on April 6th. Not quite the Hutt River, but surely Petone Beach is close enough.
https://inaturalist.nz/observations/111900249
Colin Miskelly
Posts: 871
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Another crabeater seal swims up the Hutt River

Postby Colin Miskelly » Tue Apr 19, 2022 8:49 am

Kia ora David

This animal was first seen at Sandfly Bay, Otago Peninsula, on 30 March. I sent a tongue-in-cheek email to my former DOC colleagues in Wellington to expect it up the Hutt River or on Petone Beach that coming weekend (2-3 April). It turned up 3 days after that (identifiable by the same scars on its head). They are now giving me a hard time for getting my timing wrong :)

Ngā mihi
Colin

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