Sea Lions Continue Mainland Investigations
Sea lions are returning to New Zealand’s mainland after being hunted to near extinction in the 19th and early 20th century. Now, local people are learning to live with their new – very curious – neighbours, Nell Lewis reports for CNN.
Sea lions have returned to a very different habitat to that of 200 years ago – roads, cars, motorbikes, humans, dogs and all sorts of potential hazards are now prolific in the region, Lewis writes. This presents huge challenges in keeping the population healthy and happy.
Local residents around the Otago peninsula are stepping in as “babysitters” to help keep the newborn pups safe.
Jim Fyfe, biodiversity ranger for the coastal Otago district of the Department of Conservation, hopes that as locals get used to the presence of sea lions on their beaches and around their homes, they will learn to coexist. “People don’t need to be afraid, they’re not an aggressive animal,” he says. “They’re more playful and curious.”
Original article by Nell Lewis, CNN, May 4, 2022.
Photo by John Burke.