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Leopard seal swaps ice for city views

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/09/2016

A leopard seal has swapped the icy waters of Antarctica to take up residence at an Auckland marina and is stopping divers from working.

The female seal has made herself at home at Westhaven Marina, mere minutes from downtown Auckland, and because they've been known to be aggressive towards humans a surveillance dive of the area by Niwa's marine biosecurity team has had to be postponed.

The Conservation Department has posted signs warning of the danger the seal poses to the public and it urges people to stay 20m away from it.

It advises keeping dogs and small children away and avoiding getting between it and the water.

Female seals can weigh up to 450kg and the department says they are known to frequent New Zealand during winter. They are a protected species.

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