Seal killed on Pukehina Beach

Dog owners are being given a stern warning to keep dogs on a leash around marine life after a seal was attacked and killed on Pukehina Beach.

Two unidentified dogs were seen attacking and killing what is believed to be a fur seal at the water’s edge of the Bay of Plenty beach on Sunday.

“Two men with brooms couldn’t get the dogs off the seal that was more dead than alive when they noticed the blood bath,” a beachgoer, who did not wish to be named told SunLive.

Department of Conservation biodiversity ranger, Dan Rapson, confirmed to SunLive that DOC were notified of the seal attack.

“The caller had no further information about the attack and we didn’t get the call until Monday.

“By that stage it was too late to follow up on the attack because we simply didn’t have enough information about what had happened.”

Dan says attacks on marine mammals, such as seals, are a serious matter.

“It’s an offence under the Marine Mammals Protection Act to disturb, harass, harm, injure or kill a seal.”

“A dog owner whose dog attacks a seal faces prosecution. That’s because the owner has a duty to keep their dog under control and to ensure it does not carry out such an attack.”

Dan warns dog owners ensure their animals are on a leash if they know a seal is on a beach. This ensures the safety of the dog, and the seal.

“Dogs are obviously curious and they’re attracted to things like seals and sometimes a big healthy seal can turn around and attack a dog.

“So it goes both ways. Dog owners need to protect their dogs as well as keeping them from harming seals.”

Anyone prosecuted for allowing their dog to attack a seal faces a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment or a fine up to a maximum of $250,000.

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Read the Signs

Posted on 21-08-2014 21:45 | By ADNZ

That beach will soon be busy with young Nippers training for surf club it’s a small community surely someone has enough sense to guide authorities in the right direction. The person who made the initial call may feel more forthcoming if they could remain anonymous, as it seems that the owners don’t seem to care for the community in which they reside


Posted on 21-08-2014 17:46 | By Tyraone

Bloody uncontrolled wandering crossbreed types. What the hell is wrong with the owners!!!! That picture showing the dog attacking the seal was horrific Where I live I am sick to death of wandering canines day and night. I dare not take my team of small dogs for a walk on leads because of the risk. Come on you ruthless owners of mostly crossbreed types show a bit of consideration to others. If you dont know how to discipline your dog/s attend obedience school and do a course on how to control your dog/s.

dogs not on leash

Posted on 21-08-2014 17:38 | By Glen Clova

Its a problem in Tauranga,my neigbour has had 4 chickens killed by dogs coming onto his property from the Waikareao Walkway. When the dog owners were asked to keep their dogs on a leash some of the answers were not very pretty.

What about traps?

Posted on 21-08-2014 17:33 | By GreertonBoy

If these dogs are known to be roaming this beach, why don’t the rangers put some traps there, or anywhere that dogs are known to roam. It is easy to find the dogs owner, destroy it and see who comes running. A person who cares for their dog wouldn’t let it roam. If the dog ranger will put a dog down for roaming, more owners will make sure their dogs are secure. Tranquilisers? You try and get close enough to 2 dogs in a feeding frenzy and shoot them both with darts that take a few minutes to take effect.... forget the tranquilizers, a .223 will be much better. The tranquilizers would be much more use for police apprehending teenagers that roam at night causing mischief and lighting fires


Posted on 21-08-2014 14:19 | By ClaudiaK

It is high time everyone took responsibility for themselves. Instead of thinking what are my rights we should be saying what are my responsibilities. Then dogs would not be on the loose, and generally be a caring society instead of just some.


Posted on 21-08-2014 14:18 | By rosscoo

owners should be held accountable for their pets. However it is difficult to prove ownership if dogs not registered as many dog owners who do not register their dogs deny ownership should an incident occur and the dog gets put impounded and put down for bad owners.

Once Again

Posted on 21-08-2014 13:49 | By Floyd

At this time of year many seals and pups are on the beach I recall a similar attack happening between Maketu and Newdicks beach last year. Perhaps all dogs should be on leashes.


Posted on 21-08-2014 13:42 | By What now

I am a dog owner and my dog is on a leash whenever we leave the property. I believe that owners of any wandering dogs should be prosecuted. And yes I agree that rangers should be issued tranquilizer guns.


Posted on 21-08-2014 13:21 | By rastus

I suppose we should be glad that it was a poor seal and not somebody’s child! I believe the rangers should be issued with tranquilizer guns so that the animals can be contained until the dog owners are found and prosecuted.

Put the Dogs Down

Posted on 21-08-2014 12:09 | By The Caveman

Simple solution, ANY dogs not on a lead that attack another dog, animal or a person, get impounded and put down, regardless of being registered or not. NO ARGUMENTS - and prosecute the owner.!


Posted on 21-08-2014 10:27 | By Capt_Kaveman

the dog rangers need to be out looking out for dogs like this, Min of fishers have officers but never see dog rangers


Posted on 21-08-2014 09:58 | By peecee09

It is well past the time when the dog ranger paid a lot more attention to wandering , threatening dogs at Pukehina. They are a menace and now a beautiful wild animal has been killed . These two dogs are known at the beach and wander at will harassing walkers and runners. If you know the owners dob them in before a human target is injured.

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