It isn’t known whether the seal died of sickness, injury or dog attack.
The distressing death of a seal is being investigated, with a call by one resident for dog restrictions on the foreshore along the Mangawhai Cliffs walkway.
Mangawhai’s Grant Calpham was out for a walk when he came across a young fur seal at the northern end of the beach, which appeared to be sick or injured.
It was a sunny Saturday and Grant became concerned at how many walkers with dogs were out and could potentially distress the seal.
After witnessing dogs barking at the seal, Grant decided to stay with it and warn dog walkers about its presence.
He also alerted the Department of Conservation about the seal and was hoping a ranger would come to assist and, at least, put up a temporary sign. However, no one came.
He stayed on the beach all day without food or water and finally left at 6pm.
The next day, when Grant returned to check on the seal, he found that
it had died.
DOC spokeswoman Abigail Monteith says it is DOC policy to respond to such incidents as soon as possible. She says she does not know why they did not respond in this case and the incident is being followed up.
Members of the public are encouraged to call 0800 DOC HOT if they see injured or distressed sea mammals.
Grant is calling for restrictions on dog walking on the foreshore near the walkway from Tangaroa Road north.
Dogs are not permitted on the walkway, however the northern end of the beach at Mangawhai Heads allows off leash dog exercise.
The foreshore beneath the walkway has no designation on the Kaipara District Council dog access map.
Grant says the area needs to be protected because it is home to nesting sea birds and the occasional sea mammal.