How to act around a sea-lion

Sea-lions are such rare & incredible creatures that people will often bowl right up to them to get a closer look. However, they can easily become stressed and may become aggressive if they are provoked. 

Below are some tips for how to behave when you meet a sea-lion. 

  • Keep your distance - 10 metres is recommended. More if they are active.
  • Be prepared to move away CALMLY if they approach you.
  • Do not disturb sea lions so they look better in your photographs –they need their rest! Be patient and you will be rewarded.
  • Keep dogs and children under control around sea lions at all times.
  • Never attempt to handle sea lions as they can be bite and often carry diseases.
  • Do not drive vehicles any closer than 50 metres from sea lions on the beach
  • If you see larger sea lions harassing smaller ones, don’t interfere, as it can be dangerous for you and sometimes causes the larger sea lion to become more aggressive towards the smaller one.
  • DO NOT PLEASE DO NOT FEED SEA LIONS. This will only encourage them to see small boats & people as an easy source of food. They are heavy animals and could capsize a small boat 

    If you have serious concerns about the welfare of a sea lion, or any wildlife, please contact the Department of Conservation immediately on 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)