Conservationists to monitor Owha the leopard seal

3:51 pm on 4 November 2019

A biologist monitoring a wounded leopard seal in Auckland says she's in a good condition but there's still a risk of infection.

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Photo: Supplied /

Owha, who's well-known to boaties in the Waitematā Harbour, was spotted with a bleeding nostril late last month.

It's believed she was shot.

Conservation organisation,, has been monitoring her condition but lost sight of her for a few days.

Brittany Mathias, a marine biologist from the group, said a member of the public reported sighting Owha near Hobsonville on Saturday night and Ms Mathias went to have a look the next morning.

"She appears to be in a good condition and our witness said she was trying to feed on a shag," she said.

"One of our concerns was when we saw her initially, she wasn't putting her head down into the water, so we worried about her ability to feed."

Ms Mathias said Owha still had heavy breathing possibly because of the fluids going through the injury.

She said they'll keep monitoring Owha's condition without intervention.

"She may get a fright from us darting her with anesthetics, so she may go into the water before the anesthetics kick in, and this may end up causing her to drown once the anesthetics kick in," she said.

"We've been talking to vets and we decided that intervention isn't necessary. We'll just monitor her condition over the next week or so."

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