Introduction

DOC is seeking information from the public about a vicious attack by a dog on a seal on South New Brighton beach in Christchurch today.

Date:  11 October 2017

The dog, described as “large and tan-coloured”, was seen attacking a juvenile female New Zealand fur seal/kekeno after chasing it out of the sand dunes at around midday.  

Seal attached by dog.
Seal attacked by dog on South New Brighton beach, Christchurch
Image: DOC

The seal was severely mauled around its head and neck and had to be euthanised.   

DOC Operations Manager for Christchurch, Andy Thompson, said DOC is appealing to the public for information about the dog attack. 

“We want to speak to anyone who may have seen the seal being attacked or the dog on the beach around the Halsey Street area, sometime around noon today.” 

“We are particularly interested in hearing from two North American tourists who witnessed the attack and notified a passerby. We hope the man seen with the dog, will come forward and let us know what happened.” 

“At this stage, we are just seeking further information to get a better picture of what occurred.” 

People are asked to call the Christchurch Mahaanui DOC office +64 3 341 9100 or the 24-hour DOC hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468). 

“It’s the third seal killed by dogs on Christchurch beaches in the last year and people need to be more aware that seals share our beaches with us and more vigilant in keeping their dogs under control,” said Andy Thompson. 

New Zealand fur seals/kekeno are fully protected and it is dog owners’ responsibility to keep their dogs under control.  

DOC recommends keeping dogs on a leash in areas where there are seals present and keeping a safe distance of at least 20 metres away.

Contact

For media enquiries contact:

Fiona Oliphant, DOC Media Advisor 
Mobile: +64 27 470 1378
Email: foliphant@doc.govt.nz

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