All wildlife should be treated with respect as it is a privilege to see any wildlife, in its natural environment. Dog owners, who choose to take their dog with them on trips or outings, should have total control of their dog, at all times. The Dog Control Act still applies. Dog owners are required by law to use or carry a leash in public .
Although there are many responsible dog owners, there are many more who are not. Dog owners, with little or no control of their dogs are a meance. While some are just simply complacent, others just don’t seem to care.
I personally enjoy visiting new places and seeing new and interesting things but would I take my dog to every place I plan to visit, the straight answer, is NO. A bit of common sense is needed here. Depending where you are going, it may be best, to leave your dog at home.
I visited Cape Palliser and Lake Ferry yesterday. Cape Palliser is in Wairarapa region of the North Island, New Zealand. One of the main features of the Cape, is the permanent Fur Seal Colony. Like all wildlife, they should be treated with respect as it is a privilege for anyone to get a glimpse of these animals, in their natural environment. They may look “cute” lying on the rocks or swimming in the sea but they have the potential to harm you but what is worse, you and your dog, have the potential to harm them.
So this where common sense comes into play, did I take my dog with me, no I did not. Why? you may well ask,
1. it was a hot day
2. My dog could distress the seals and potentially something bad could happen
3. I can’t take photos and watch my dog at the same time
4. Having to keep an eye on my dog (even on a leash) and the seals, would stress me out.
I must admit I have a soft spot for Fur Seals and visit them as often as I can, like any animal they communicate via body language plus these guys are quite vocal. Contary to popular belief they can move quickly on land if they have to, If confronted they will try and get away if they can’t, you need to be able to get out of their way.
On the way back from the main colony, I saw these people from the road, what caught my eye was the off leash dog, hence the reason for writing this article..
1. The dog was unleashed and chasing the seal, the seal was trying to get out of the way
2. There were a couple of seals behind and off to the side, they could have attacked these people.
3. It was clear, either the people were unaware of the dangers or didn’t care.
4. As for the dog being off leash, no excuses there.
So be aware of your surroundings when you are out and about, Whether it be a Wetland, Beach, Bush or Park, all wildlife have the right to live and be there. Checkout the Doc dog walking finder also to find places to walk your dog, Also some conservation area, do not allow dogs.
If you see an out of control dog, take photos, call DOC or animal control.
Here are a few photos I took yesterday of the Fur Seals.