'Amazing' encounter with sea lion in harbour

A diver's encounter with a sea lion in Otago Harbour is one of several recent animal episodes that bolster Dunedin’s claim to be the ''wildlife capital of New Zealand''.

The past few weeks have seen the fledging and flying of two albatross chicks from Taiaroa Head (here and here), and a visit to the harbour by a pod of orca.

Now, footage has emerged of a chance encounter with a sea lion in the harbour's waters.

The meeting was caught last weekend on camera by Forsyth Barr investment advisor and voluntary divemaster for Dive Otago Tom Bliss, who told Newshub the sea lion is well-known and even has a name, Roger.

"You certainly don't see them every weekend that you pop out, it's an amazing experience," Mr Bliss said.

He said the encounter occurred near Wellers Rock, and while sea lions had an intimidating reputation, Roger was happy to play around, biting at the exhalation bubbles from the air regulators and chewing the divers' fins.


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