Naomi and I decided to visit the Sunday market in Wynyard today. We took Teddy with us and after getting some fish and chips for lunch we decided to go for a walk along the river bank. Imagine how surprised we were to see this seal resting on one of the pontoons.
We don’t know how he/she came to be there but there were quite a few people watching. The authorities had placed a barrier half way down the pontoon so that people would not disturb the seal and we didn’t see anyone doing anything other than taking photos. I wish I’d had my big lens but of course I was not expecting to need it.
I looked on the Wynyard Facebook page later and discovered that this is a Leopard Seal. Some folk with better zooms had managed to take some more close up shots of it and one commented that it didn’t look well. I’m not sure what the story is but will keep an eye on the page for updates. Maybe the seal will leave when the tide comes in or maybe Parks and Wildlife or Marine and Harbours will have to step in to move it on. In the meantime, the vast majority of folk were just thrilled to see a seal close up.
A few complained. “Seals taking all our fish”, “Our boats should be using that pontoon” “You’ll be sorry when it eats a kid.” Other commenters told them what they thought about that. It wasn’t hurting anyone and as long as it was left alone wasn’t likely to.
It is pretty rare for a Leopard Seal to visit the Tasmanian coast. They mostly live in Antarctic waters and although they do go north in winter they don’t usually come this far.
So, I think we were pretty lucky to see it and I hope it will be OK.