30 Sep 2015

Seal attack 'came out of nowhere'

6:29 pm on 30 September 2015

A eight-year-old Gisborne boy has had stitches to a bite wound in one of his arms after he was attacked by a large seal in northern Hawke's Bay.

New Zealand fur seal

Several close encounters with seals in the North Island have made headlines in recent months. Photo: 123RF

Eight-year-old George Gillies had to have stitches in his upper arm after being set upon while walking through long grass with a friend, on the eastern side of Mahia Peninsula late this morning.

His cousin, Matt Evans - who was nearby - said the attack was a shock.

"Out of nowhere, a seal launched itself at the two of them, and ended up biting George. Unfortunately, as they ran away, George slipped over and it managed to get on top of him and bit his arm."

The youngster was driven to Gisborne Hospital for treatment.

The boy's mother said it was either an adult fur seal or a leopard seal, and was big.

The seal disappeared into the sea after the attack.