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Wildlife

Owha the leopard seal

Owha is a Female Leopard Seal (Hydrurga Leptonyx) that appeared in Te Wai O Pareira late 2018. 

Information from Leopardseals.org

Owha is short for her Māori name “He owha nā ōku tūpuna” which translates to mean “treasured gift from our ancestors”.  She received this name from the  local Māori hapu (sub-tribe or clan), Ngati Whatua ki Orakei, after she spent more than a year in their home waters.

Currently, LeopardSeals.org has over 200 sightings of Owha.  We have documented that she has ranged from Dunedin to Tutukaka (Northland).  We are preparing a scientific report about her movements and other information we have gathered about her.  She was the first leopard seal entered into the New Zealand Leopard Seal Identification Catalogue due to all the data that we have gathered about her.

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While Leopard Seals are Carnivorous, there have been very few reports of attacks on humans. Even though, if you find a leopard seal in a marina, particularly on the narrow marina pontoons, do not approach without first seeking the Marina Management team and asking about their protocols.   If they or you have concerns, please contact us on 0800 LEOPARD (0800  5367273) and we can advise you about other marina’s protocols.

Additionally, please note that because she likes visiting marinas, she is also vulnerable to boat strike – please do not approach closer than 20m in your boat and please slow down if you have sighted her.  She can be very difficult to spot as very little of her body or head typical protrude above the water surface.

Banded Rail

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