New Zealand fur seal in Auckland Creek near the Gladstone power station.
New Zealand fur seal in Auckland Creek near the Gladstone power station. Kerri-Anne Mesner

Rare sight of frolicking seal

A RARE sight of a seal frolicking in Auckland Creek, near the Gladstone power station, kept bypassers amused yesterday afternoon.

Gladstone Water Police officer-in-charge Sergeant Jeff Barnett said the seal was believed to be a New Zealand fur seal, about one-year-old, with cookiecutter shark bites.

“The Sea World representatives that we spoke to believe he is a New Zealand fur seal,” he said.

Water Police, assisting Queensland Wildlife and Rescue Service spent the morning following the seal up and down Auckland Creek, trying to entice it to follow the boats back out to Gladstone Harbour.

“He is quite mobile and is doing quite well,” Sgt Barnett said.

Department of Environment and Resource Management Operations Manager, Central Queensland Marine, Dave Orgill said seals of various species were occasionally seen along the Queensland coast.

“The most northerly record we have on our database is a leopard seal seen near Mossman in 1972,” he said.

“Seal sightings at Gladstone are rare.

“Once or twice over the last 15 years, small fur seals have been seen at Gladstone.

“We also have a record of a leopard seal at Heron Island in 1980.”

DERM advises people to leave seals alone as they can bite. People are encouraged to report stranded, sick or dead seals to DERM on 1300 130 372.



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