The Department of Conservation (DOC) is asking the public for information about a dog attack on a protected NZ fur seal/kekeno found dead on Brighton beach near Dunedin.
A Brighton resident discovered the dead seal while walking on the beach south of Brighton on June 7th and then reported it to the DOC hotline. A DOC ranger and Dunedin City Council (DCC) Animal Services officer picked up the seal.
A New Zealand fur seal/kekeno
DOC services manager for Coastal Otago David Agnew said the autopsy and pathology report from Massey University on the juvenile female seal confirmed a dog attack caused its death.
“The autopsy confirmed severe trauma to the head and neck, consistent with a dog attack. Injuries included severe depressed fractures to the skull with many other bite wounds present,” Mr Agnew said.
“This shows the importance of keeping dogs under control at all times as marine wildlife can appear on our beaches at any time. Roaming dogs can be of particular menace and should be reported to DCC Animal Services.”
DCC Senior Animal Services officer Peter Hanlin urged dog owners to abide by local regulations, ensure their dog is secure on their property and reminded owners it’s their responsibility to always have their dog under control at all times.
Under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 penalties range from up to six months’ jail or fines of up to $250,000 for killing and harming fur seals or other marine mammals.