Waitomo News : 30 October 2014
WAITOMO NEWS Thursday, October 30, 2014 11 *1/3 deposit, interest rate of 0% and term of 24 months. Credit, account opening and other eligibility criteria, terms and conditions and fees and charges apply and are subject to change from time to time. Finance products are only available to approved customers. Finance applies to 2014 model year products only. Available at all participating authorised Honda Dealers. Standard warranty conditions apply. Terms and conditions apply. Finance options available until 31st December 2014. Available while stocks last. Making the right decisions on-farm can be challenging. With Honda’s extensive product range, service and support, and finance options to suit - we try and make it as easy as we can for you. 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Buy your NEW tractor tyres from Advantage Tyres Otorohanga and we will travel to your farm for (No callout or mileage fee) FREE! *conditions apply See instore for details TE KUITI resident Ruth Neustroski was making sandcastles on the beach near the Kawhia wharf with her three-year-old grandson Lowell Hurst on Monday morning when she noticed a black shape in the shallows. Realising it was a young fur seal they followed it along the shoreline. It swam under the wharf and flopped up onto the beach below the Kawhia Museum. “It looked at us and posed for the people gath- ering on the steps taking photos,” says Mrs Neu- stroski. “The poor little seal appeared to be hungry be- cause he was approaching people. “He hopped his way up the steps, then flopped along the road and onto the wharf.” She says the crowd tried to encourage it back into the water at the same time keeping out of its way so as not to frighten it, but it kept coming towards them and was just a metre or two away. “I’m sure it was only looking for food, but no-one had caught any sprats they could give it, so a chap offered it a piece of frozen herring,” she says. “The seal didn’t like the “ice block effect” and spat it out after a couple of chews. “At that point a lady from the fish and chip shop wrapped him in a blanket. “She seemed to know what she was doing and I believe some fishermen took it back out to a fur seal colony near the [Kawhia] Heads. It had been on the wharf for about half an hour and I’m pleased it was taken home. I hope it found its mum.” Mrs Neustroski understands the seal had earlier climbed into a boat fishing in the harbour. The fishermen managed to get it out, but it then followed the boat back to shore, which is when she spotted it. DOC ADVICE Te Kuiti Department of Conservation (DOC) biodiversity conservation services manager Dave Smith says the kekeno, or New Zealand fur seal, is about 10 months old. “This pup looks as though it has been recently weaned, so having left its mum it is now making its own way in the world,” says Mr Smith. “One visited Raglan recently and hung around on the wharf for sev- eral days. In this case we may also have relocated the seal to a nearby area, due to the threats of the urban environment. “Our advice in these situations is to contact DOC’s Hamilton office for Kawhia Harbour and north, and the Te Kuiti office for the southern coastline on the 24-hour DOC hotline. “We recommend people don’t in- teract with, approach or feed seals. “Seals can use surprisingly fast so people should keep at least 20m away and please, keep dogs well away.” He says seals are more likely to be seen on beaches in the winter al- though, as numbers increase, people should expect to see more seals haul- ing out on different parts of the coast, some of which will be built up. “Although seals were on the brink of extinction in the 1800s, the popu- lation has recovered since they were fully protected. “They are no longer endangered and their numbers and range con- tinue to increase. “Here, on the west coast we have seal haul-out sites at Albatross Point, Gannet Island and Tirua Point.” For more information on New Zea- land fur seals – doc.govt.nz Unusual visitor STEPPING OUT: A young New Zealand fur seal visited Kawhia on Monday, flopped up the steps near the museum and spent half an hour on the wharf before being returned to a nearby seal colony. PHOTOS SUPPLIED FUR REAL: The seal pup approached people on the wharf. Department of Conservation biodiversity manager Dave Smith says the public should never interact with or feed seals to avoid them becoming dependant on humans.
23 October 2014