People setting off from the thirteenth hole at Chisholm Links in the next few weeks may find themselves head-to-head with a 150-kilogram marine creature.
Dunedin City Council has sealed off a section of John Wilson Ocean Drive that separates the path from the ocean, so Hiriwa’s sea lion and her new puppy can safely reach the water.
Heriwa, who was first seen about a week ago, is currently living in the bush beside Hole # 13 in order to care for her newborn.
Mother of five
This is Heriwa’s fifth pup – her first on a golf course, Jim Fife, the Sahel biodiversity ranger in Otago, said.
He said, “She went up to John Wilson Drive and got on the golf course to put her puppy in some bushes there.”
“She definitely had a puppy – she was able to retrieve the placenta and throw it over the cliff … so it wouldn’t attract any dogs.”
It is about time that Heriwa will start taking trips to the ocean to feed, which will include crossing John Wilson Ocean Drive.
The City Council acted at the request of the Ministry of Defense and closed part of the road for the following month.
“As long as golfers give them a respectable distance and bear in mind that they are there and not hit the golf balls in their direction, I think it should go off quite smoothly,” Fife said.
Jim Fife says sea lions are an endangered species that is just recovering on the mainland coast.
“She must have found a good secret hiding place to raise her new baby sea lion for the next few weeks.”