A popular road in New Zealand had been closed off for a Sea lion ‘Hiriwa’ to nurture her pup. ‘Hiriwa’ gave birth to her fifth pup at the Chisholm Links golf course in Dunedin city.
According to Jim Fyfe, a coastal Otago biodiversity ranger at the Department of Conservation (DOC) who was talking to Radio New Zealand, “She has come up John Wilson Drive and into the golf course to have her pup in some bushes there.”
Fyfe believes that the pup was born on the 7th of January and will require a month of nesting before it can return to the sea.
Nonetheless, the Dunedin city council has only allowed “some special citizens to use the road safely”.
Dunedin city has in the past closed down roads to accommodate wildlife. This activity mostly takes place in the summers. Lasting a day or two at the most.
The locals have been encouraging the closure of John Wilson Ocean Drive. They have further encouraged to make the closure permanent in an effort to protect the wildlife.
John Wilson Ocean Drive is open for individuals traveling by foot or bicycle. However, precaution is a must! One should keep A distance of 20m from the Sea lions. Furthermore, people walking dogs are to keep them on a leash to ensure the safety of all animals.
According to WWF, the New Zealand Sea lions are declared endangered. Additionally, according to DOC there are only 12,000 Sea lions in the world. The major threats posed to sea lions include fishing, disease, lack of food, and human activities. Thus, it is vital to protect this beautiful species. Calling for effective action just like the one taken by DOC.
The roads have recently been open and are free for use. Until some other wildlife experience suggests otherwise.
The Sea lion and her pup are happy and healthy.