Leopard Seal in a bad way
Leopard Seals are one of the apex predators in Antarctica and will feed on fish, squid, penguins and other seals and can weigh up to 500 kg.
Whilst the NSW coast line is not in the home range for these animals, we do see them up here on occasion and this was the second leopard seal we had
responded to this year.
This animal was a sub-adult male that was first observed at Sandon Beach with a shark bite wound on the right hand side shoulder. From the size of
the bite, it appeared to be made by a juvenile great white shark.
DMM staff, working with NPWS and ORRCA assessed the animals condition. Whilst the wound was large and the animal was thin, it was relatively bright
and alert at first and the decision was made to monitor the animal, as legislation prevents this species from being rehabilitated and released.
Unfortunately over the course of a few days the animals body condition deteriorated and the decision was made to euthanize the animal.
A post mortem investigation revealed no food in its stomach and a large amount of sand in the bowel. These findings are typical of an animal that is
doing poorly and resorts to foraging in sand for crabs and the like, instead of chasing down prey. It was a sad outcome for this animal but in
the end, we were able to make sure that it did not suffer unnecessarily.