Hotel staff check on seal pups

IAN ALLEN
Last updated 11:30 09/07/2012
Scenic Hotel staff
SEAL WATCH: Scenic Hotel Group staff, from left, Pam Pullar, Michelle Spencer, Kelly Singleton, Jennifer Read and Gavin Barr are helping to monitor seal pups at Ohau Pt waterfall during the school holidays.

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Hospitality workers in Blenheim have been spending the school holidays with seal pups at Ohau Pt waterfall, north of Kaikoura.

Staff at Scenic Hotel Marlborough and the Marlborough Convention Centre, both managed by the Scenic Hotel Group, started volunteering at the tourist spot on July 2, providing information to visitors.

The 14 workers are also helping to monitor the seal pup population and the number of people who visit the site.

The waterfall pool is usually full of baby fur seals from May to October and monitored by volunteers from Kaikoura.

Marlborough Convention Centre event co-ordinator Rebecca Toms said the Blenheim team was alternating shifts until Sunday.

There would be someone from the group at the breeding colony every day throughout the school holiday period, she said.

Mrs Toms was there on Tuesday and was scheduled to go back today.

"It's an amazing experience," she said. "You walk along a little path that opens up to the waterfall and pool which has seals everywhere. They are on the path, up the side of the hill and playing in the water."

Marlborough Convention Centre venue manager Gavin Barr said the seals could be curious.

"It's cool to be that close to wild animals," he said. "They come quite close so you have to stay out of their way, both for their safety and ours."

The visitors were a mix of Kaikoura locals and tourists, Mr Barr said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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