Photo Credits: Paul Boocock/Mercury Press via Daily Mail
Baby seals use New Zealand waterfall as a day care center?
While it may sound bizarre, a unique inland waterfall just north of Kaikoura, New Zealand is being used as a personal swimming hole for hundreds of baby seals while the moms go out to hunt for their food. Predators like killer whales, as well as rough seas, mean it’s safer for the pups to play in freshwater. This is the only place on earth where such behavior has been observed.
Every year, seal pups swim up a stream to the beautiful Ohau Waterfall where they enjoy an epic cuddlefest, playing near the waterfall all through the winter, which is June through August in New Zealand, while their mothers hunt for food in the ocean. The waterfall and surrounding area is part of the Ohau Point Fur Seal Sanctuary and is home to nearly 3,000 seals.
While the stream and waterfall are technically located on private property, according to New Zealand’s official tourism website, the landowners work with the Department of Conservation to allow people to stop by. They’ve even erected signs to help point the way for hikers and have enlisted volunteers to make sure the seals are safe.
Although you can’t join the pups’ massive cuddlefest, as authorities don’t allow touching and ask visitors to give them space, it’s just as amazing to watch from a distance. If you can’t make it to New Zealand, at least check them out on video here: