Mandy Wennekes had a horse roaming her property before – but never a sea lion. Photo / Provided
It’s not every day you look at your backyard and see huge sea lions just roaming around – but that’s what happened to Mandy Wennekes and her family yesterday afternoon.
A Dunedin resident said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a sea lion sitting in his yard.
“We’re just a little confused,” he said. “It’s not something we thought we would see.”
The family lived on Ocean Drive, very close to the beach, but this was the first time they had received a visit from a sea creature before.
“We’ve had horses emerge from shore before, by accident, because a wrong turn brought them into the property,” he explained, “but never sea lions.”
To reach their lawns, sea lions must go through three routes, including one up a steep hill.
The animal roamed for half an hour and didn’t seem bothered by the dog’s barking at him.
Hearing the noise from the dogs, her husband tried to see what the fuss was about. It was then that he saw a huge creature roaming their property.
“My husband tried to get closer to her and she started making noise so we stayed away from her.”
“I think they’re looking for a partner at the moment,” said Wennekes.
“All the females hide in the bush with their chicks.”
After about 30 minutes, the animal continued its journey, and was reportedly later seen back on the beach.
After posting a photo of his visitor to a local Facebook group, the residents of Dunedin were contacted by a member of the New Zealand Sea Lion Trust who clarified that the sea lion is over 10 years old and is male.
“What a wonderful visitor! I love how politely he sits on the fence. This big guy must be 10+ years old – that mane, wow – and that’s what we call a beachmaster,” Jordana, of the Sea Lion Trust, said citizens.
“I’m a little surprised that this guy is in Otago and not in the Sub-Antarctic Archipelago who rules over a beach full of women! But also …. he really still looks like a big puppy to me! A very, very big puppy. once you enjoy a special meeting that will not happen anywhere in the world, “he added.
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