An elderly man is in serious condition in hospital this
morning after he was ambushed by a seal at a New Plymouth
Ambulance Control spokeswoman Anita Halbert said they were
called to Belt road at 8.15am, where a man in his late 70s
was suffering serious lower leg injuries.
'We called the police to let them know the danger involved in
the situation, when we arrived the seal was still there,"
The victim was transported to Taranaki Base Hospital in
serious condition. Department of Conservation staff were also
called to the scene to attend to the seal.
The ranger who attended found it basking on a nearby rock and
set to work shooing it back into the ocean, Department of
Conservation Partnerships manager Ngamotu New Plymouth Darryn
"Our thoughts go to the gentleman who was attacked and to his
family, hoping for a speedy recovery," Ratana said.
Seals have huge teeth and can have a very nasty bite and can
carry diseases. Usually they would only attack if provoked,
but in this case the victim was simply walking along the
walkway when the seal ambushed him, Ratana said.
Although some locals had been asking for fencing along the
coastal walkway, that was not needed, he said. "It is a
lovely walkway and I think the people of New Plymouth want to
keep it the way it is."
Ratana said he would instead be discussing improved warning
signage with Taranaki District Council.
- Herald on Sunday