Gem, the sea lion, in the Tomahawk Lagoon yesterday. Below:
Gem on the Chisholm Park Golf Course on Saturday. Photo by
Gem the sea lion was yesterday roaming Dunedin's Chisholm
Park Golf Course and nearby coastal areas, apparently in search
of her pup.
Her calls for the pup, who died last month, have been heard
both by golfers and by residents around Tomahawk Lagoon.
She first turned up on the course on Saturday, slightly
perturbing the more than 100 golfers on the course, before
returning to the lagoon.
She again travelled across the golf course yesterday morning,
appearing to have made her way from the beach below Lawyers
Department of Conservation marine ranger Jim Fyfe followed
her path, discovering she had scampered down the hill behind
the eighth hole to cool off in the lagoon.
Police were then called about 6.40pm when she turned up on
Tomahawk Rd. After police arrived at the scene they saw her
swimming away, Acting Senior Sergeant Paul McLaughlan said.
Mr Fyfe said her actions showed the strength of a sea lion's
maternal feelings. She could continue the search for a week
or more, he believed. The pup was born at Tomahawk and Doc
had tried to protect it, Gem and its father with a fence and
by moving the sea lion family down the beach further away
from the public.
An autopsy on the pup at Massey University confirmed it died
of disease. Testing was under way to determine what the
Few pups have been born along Otago's coast this summer.