Lost NZ visitor takes relaxing break onboard houseboat
A CHILLED out New Zealand fur seal - most likely the same one spotted near the mouth of Kauri Creek two months ago - has spent the past two days living on a houseboat at Rainbow Beach.
The whiskered, free-loading tenant was spotted on Sunday morning sunning himself on the back deck of the houseboat moored in Carlo Creek. He (or she) was still there yesterday afternoon.
He appears to be in good health despite being a long way from home in South Australia, and was photographed on Sunday morning by the owners of Rainbow Beach Houseboats sunbaking on board, diving into Carlo Creek and then clambering back for a good bask in the sun.
"He looks like he is in great condition and has not a care in the world," Maree Van Oirschot said yesterday.
"As we watched him he slipped back in and out of the water, cooling himself down and then climbing back up to sun himself again," she said.
"He has been seen on the ocean side of Rainbow Beach but this is the first time he has been seen on the inside of the Great Sandy Strait of Fraser Island."
Sea World marine sciences director Trevor Long said after the Tin Can Bay sighting in September there were more fur seals than ever before appearing off the south-east Queensland coast but nobody knew why.
"Whether it's an environmental issue or a nutrition issue we are not certain," he said.
Mrs Van Oirschot said she contacted Australia Zoo and Marine Rescue but unless the seals are malnourished or distressed no action is taken.