17 Jan 2012

NZ seals to be examined for cause of death

6:08 pm on 17 January 2012

New Zealand fur seals that washed up dead on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia are to be examined to determine how they died.

The ABC reports the bodies of 51 juveniles and two young adults were found near Port Lincoln and at Wanna Beach in the Lincoln National Park.

Dr Lucy Woolford from Adelaide University says three seals have been collected for post-mortem examinations, which will be conducted on Tuesday.

''These seals appear to have died a few days ago, so they're in a state of decomposition so we're trying to see how much information we can gain from those,'' she said.

''(We have found) no immediate signs of injury from the seals we've looked at so far.''

New Zealand fur seals are a protected species found along Australia's south coast and along the coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

They can grow to weigh up to 250kg, but males usually average about 125kg and are considered docile, although they will attack if provoked.