Seal hauls out in upriver Kiah paddock

Every seal's dream is a nice cosy grassy paddock...isn't it? Photo: Jenny Robb
Every seal's dream is a nice cosy grassy paddock...isn't it? Photo: Jenny Robb

A seal is probably the last thing one would expect to find lying around in a bush paddock on a sleepy Sunday morning.

But that's exactly what Kiah residents Jenny and Arthur Robb found basking in the sun on their property recently.

Naturally the seal's impromptu visit took the couple by surprise but it's nothing they hadn't seen before. The Australian fur seal was the second to visit the Robbs in recent years, whose property lies about nine kilometres up stream from the Towamba River mouth.

"About two years ago we had one in the river, but he didn't venture out of the water. He swam upstream snacking on jumping mullet as he went," said Ms Robb.

Unlike the previous visitor this seal seemed a little more adventurous, travelling about 200 metres up the creek to find his way into the Robbs' paddock.

"He was laying about five metres from the creek bed. The grass was covered in frost and he looked pretty cosy in fact he was quite fat and didn't appear to have any injuries."

Just snoozing in the sun. Photo: Jenny Robb

Just snoozing in the sun. Photo: Jenny Robb

Very comfortable indeed. The seal made himself at home taking in the tranquility of paddock life and after four days he was gone. Perhaps he moved on to greener pastures or a more adequate sea change.

Meanwhile, in other seal news, a National Parks and Wildlife spokesperson told Australian Community Media the numerous sightings of seals hauling out along the Far South Coast coastline is common behaviour for this time of year and the public need to be cautious and give the animals their space.

"The vast majority of these animals are simply resting and people must keep at least 40 metres away from adults and at least 80 metres if there is a pup present," the spokesperson said.

Coffee? No thanks I'm quite relaxed here in the frost. Photo: Jenny Robb

Coffee? No thanks I'm quite relaxed here in the frost. Photo: Jenny Robb

"Although they look to be very docile, when hauled-out they can move fast and when roused can become aggressive."

Despite a recent discussion on local social media pages of multiple seal deaths, the spokesperson confirmed NPWS have received only one report of a deceased seal in Eden on Friday, July 26.

"NPWS is only aware of one report of a dead seal this season in Eden, at George Bass Park," they said.

The spokesperson advised the public to report sightings of hauled out seals. Through reporting, NPWS is able to assess the behaviour and condition of seals - along with clarifying if any further specialist treatment is needed.

"NPWS have been monitoring a couple of seals, including a leopard seal which hauled out at various local beaches over the last couple of weeks.

"If you see a seal in distress or injured report them to the NPWS on 13000 PARKS or ORRCA 9415 3333, but give them space," the spokesperson urged.

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