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Home > Latest News > Media Releases > Media Releases 2011 > October 2011 > RENA Oiled seals information (105)

RENA Oiled seals information (105)

Monday, 24 October 2011 12:45 p.m.

It can be difficult to tell whether a seal is oiled or not. Here's some handy information to help you if you come across one.

Normal seal behaviours

  • Regurgitating, sneezing and coughing are common seal habits.
  • Seals sometimes look as though they are crying and their eyes weeping.
  • They drift in the waves, flap their flippers, fight and sleep for long periods.
  • Pups happily spend time alone while their mothers fish.

Rules for observing seals

These are designed to protect both the seal and the observers:

  • Observe the seal quietly
  • Always keep dogs and small children well away from seals
  • Avoid getting nearer than 20 metres to the seal
  • Do not touch the seal under any circumstances
  • Do not get between the seal and its access to water

What to do if you think the seal has oil on it

If you do think the seal has oil on it, please call 0800 333 771 and give as many details as you can regarding the seal so the responder team can get a clear picture as to how best to respond.

It is very hard to tell by just looking at the seals coat to see if it has oil on it - wet fur from the sea, looks slick and can easily be mistaken for oil.

Please spend some time observing its behaviour - if it is staggering or grooming excessively, please contact 0800 333 771.

A non oiled seal - wet from the surf

RENA Non oiled seal


For more information

Further information on what to look for in health/sick seals:
Facts about NZ fur seal:

RENA Non oiled seal