the sun rise over the city, and walk the empty streets before the
hustle and bustle of the morning commute begins.
On one of these mornings last year, as I walked around the small craft harbour in the viaduct,
Curiosity picqued, I headed over to see what they’d found.
They scattered on my arrival and, at first,
I couldn’t see anything to indicate a cause for their distress.
There were ripples in the water but nothing obvious.
Then I saw her.
Owha the Leopard Seal.
I'd heard she’d been spotted at Westhaven Marina but had never expected
to find her quite so up close and personal in the small craft harbour.
She was up to her usual tricks.
Somehow she manages to work the polystyrene out of it’s plastic casing and then it’s
game on as she systematically destroys the polystyrene. Marina management
I’d never seen a Leopard Seal up close before and was shocked at how large she is - and how powerful.
I contacted Leopard Seals NZ as I’d seen posts on Facebook asking
They were delighted to have my photographs as they’re trying to keep track of her
movements and also educate the public and boaties about her behaviour.
Boaties understandably aren’t happy about the destruction she causes in and
Enrichment objects such as toys are being considered, in order to minimise her affinity
for dinghies and fenders. Records of damage are being kept and also
It’s hoped that all these activities will help in some way to create a harmonious co-existence
between the people who use the marina and Leopard Seals like Owha.
"In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous."