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Seal shot at Cape Palliser

7 November 2007

Seal shot at Cape Palliser

The shooting of a seal on Wairarapa’s south coast has prompted a reminder from the Department of Conservation that marine mammals are protected.

Wairarapa Area manager Chris Lester said the decomposing carcases of three New Zealand fur seals, or keneno, were found in September at Cape Palliser, one of which was confirmed by pathology report to have bullet fragments in its skull.

“We are disappointed to think that people would harm these protected creatures from the only fur seal colony in the North Island where breeding is well-established. They are just starting to recover and have only recently re-established breeding colonies in the North Island.”

“We urge the public to notify us if they see anyone harming or harassing seals or other marine wildlife, which are fully protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978. “But the main message to the public is just to leave the seals alone to relax in peace”

DoC and local iwi and community groups plan to develop interpretative signage for Cape Palliser about the natural, historic and cultural features of the area, including guidelines for safe behaviour around the seal colony. “We welcome contributions to this work from all sectors of the community.” said Mr Lester.

Information about New Zealand fur seals can found on the DOC website: www.doc.govt.nz>conservation>native animals>marine mammals>seals

Information about Cape Palliser can be found on the DOC website:
www.doc.govt.nz>places to visit>wellington>wairarapa>aorangi forest park>features

ENDS

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