Seal euthanised after climbing onto Wallaga Road

NATIONAL Parks with the help of a local Narooma veterinarian decided to euthanise an injured seal that climbed out onto Wallaga Lake Road on Tuesday morning.

Dr Alan Fridley said the female seal had sustained a large 10 to 15cm open wound behind her eye and it appeared she was dying.

The injury appeared to be sustained at least 48 hours previous and could have come from fighting with another seal or some other predator.

The call was made the best thing was to put the seal out of its misery and he used the same drugs he would use for pet dogs.

The seal was spotted on the causeway road just near the Wallaga Lake bridge in the early hours of the morning and numerous calls were made to National Parks.

National Parks area manager Preston Cope said the seal that appeared to be an Australian fur seal was in a bad way with a serious injury to its head.

The call was made to put it down as it probably would not have survived for much longer in the wild. The body was buried at a nearby beach.

The advice as always was not to approach an injured or out-of-place marine mammal as they could be dangerous, but instead to call National Parks on 4476 0800 immediately.

National Parks policy was generally to let nature takes it course, but action could be taken if marine mammals were suffering or on the other hand could be treated and released, he said.

In very rare occasions, the Taronga Zoo could be called to pick up marine mammals but then they had to be kept for the rest of their life at the zoo because releasing them to the wild had risks including introducing pathogens.

Dr Fridley said one idea had since the incident was for some kind of steel cage constructed so that injured seals could be placed in it and observed for some time.

The haul-out site for New Zealand fur seals on the Narooma bar entrance breakwater was becoming increasingly popular with daily reports of more than a dozen seals on the rocks only metres away from a walking path.

Again National Parks was advising locals and visitors not to approach the seals too closely and to allow them some breathing space. 

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