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New Zealand fur seal in need of a dinghy!

New Zealand fur seal in need of a dinghy!

Kaiako, NZ Fur
Kaiako, Auckland Zoo's NZ Fur Seal



18 August 2006

New Zealand fur seal in need of a dinghy!

Auckland Zoo keepers are planning for summer and are looking for a dinghy to provide shelter from the sun for their New Zealand fur seal.

Although it may not feel like summer just yet, the keepers at Auckland Zoo are all too aware of the fast approaching hot months and the effects the sun can have on the animals they care for.

Kaiako, the Zoo’s only New Zealand fur seal, is a land seal and, therefore, spends a lot of time in the sun and far less time in the water than his Californian sealion counterparts. He also has a thick coat, so an up-turned dinghy is a great way for him to get out of the sun’s rays and cool down.

“In his natural environment, Kaiako would have rocks, boats and other forms of shelter he could use, but we are limited in what we currently have – a dinghy is a great solution to provide the shade and shelter he will need,” says Elephants/Sealions team leader, Andrew Coers.

The Zoo is planning to erect a shade sail to provide long-term protection to Kaiako, however a dinghy will assist the Zoo in the interim.

As part of their conservation work, Auckland Zoo is committed to providing long-term support to New Zealand fur seals. The Zoo is currently providing care for two New Zealand fur seals, which were collected by the SPCA and brought into the Zoo, after consultation with DOC. The two fur seals were found on two different Auckland beaches and were both underweight. They are being cared for by Zoo vet, John Potter, who says, ”At this stage, the priority is to get the fur seals back to full health, and they are recovering well. It is great that the Zoo is being seen as a world-class facility to care for animals needing specialist care, and we work closely with DOC to achieve these goals.”

Auckland Zoo is looking for a smallish wooden dinghy. If you have a suitable dinghy, and would like to donate it to the Zoo, please contact Abigail Smith at Auckland Zoo on (09) 360 4872 or email abigail.smith[at]aucklandcity.govt.nz


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