A long dead seal is causing a real stink on New Plymouth's normally picturesque Coastal Walkway.
The rotting carcass of the common sea mammal has been beside the walkway near the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre playground for at least one week.
Though not easy to spot the animal does have a pong and Ohawe beach resident Tiana Hokopaura, 5, who is on holiday at Belt Rd camp ground, confirmed this morning the seal indeed smelled ''yuck''.
Together with her brother Sam the pair spotted the animal on their way back to camp and even though it was well and truly dead, approaching it was not without anxieties.
''It was still really frightening. It's only got one eye and its teeth are showing,'' Sam said.
Their mother Rachael said they had heard there was a seal near the playground last week but had not asked whether it was alive or dead.
''This is the first time we've seen it. I heard two ladies yesterday saying it stinks but I didn't see it. It blends in with the boulder,'' she said.
New Plymouth District Council acting parks boss Stuart Robertson said he had not heard about the dead seal until called by the Taranaki Daily News.
''I'll get it taken care of. I think with sea mammals we have to inform the Department of Conservation.They like to know if we find one. I'll sort it all out today,'' he said.
Live seals are not an uncommon sight on the walkway, often clambering up the rocks to rest and sun bathe during stormy seas.
DOC recommends people stay more than a metre away from live seals.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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