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Port Hills asked to take special care

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To: Council Reporter/Chief Reporter

From: Rachel Graham - CCC Communication Team

MEDIA RELEASE 17 July
2008


Port Hills Reserves visitors asked to take special care during lambing
season

With lambing season upon us again people using the Port Hills reserves
are asked to be considerate of the welfare of the livestock while using
the area.

Port Hills area head ranger, Paul Devlin, says they are happy for people
to make use of the reserves during lambing season, and the presence of
the new born lambs can make the parks an extra special place to be.
There are however a few things people can do to help make sure the
livestock aren't distressed at this delicate time. These include keeping
dogs on a leash, keeping to the tracks and remembering to shut gates
behind them. People are also asked to stay as far away as possible from
pregnant ewes, and sheep with young lambs.

Mr Devlin says there are signs up in all of the affected Port Hills
reserves warning people to take particular care, and with a contact
number for the Christchurch City Council call centre if there is any
problems.

If people come across a sheep or lamb which appears to be in distress
they are asked not to interfere or attempt to take it to a vet, but
instead to call the Council's call centre on 941 8999. The call centre
will then contact the lease holder. This time of year the leaseholders
do keep a close eye on their livestock, and are often in the area.

"We also ask that people don't try to match up apparently lost lambs
with a ewe," says Mr Devlin. "Often the lamb and its mother can be quite
a distance apart, and there is no problem, despite the cries of the
lamb. The ewes do need a lot of sustenance at this time of year and
should just be allowed to get on and eat and feed their lambs. Often
people can inadvertently do more harm than good by trying to catch a
lamb or chase it back to its mother, when they are almost always fine as
they are."

The Rapaki Track in the Port Hills will be closed to vehicle access
during the lambing season, but the track is still open to walkers and
mountain bikers.

ends

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