Inquisitive 300kg leopard seal wreaking havoc for boaties in Auckland marina

A leopard seal that's become well known through-out New Zealand, has turned from love-able rogue to fender stealing predator.

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It's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt, sailors say. Source: 1 NEWS

Owha, the 300kg leopard seal, has been tearing chunks out of boat's at Auckland's Westhaven Marina, and boaties frustrated with a lack of action, say it's only a matter of time before a person gets hurt.

"We have had thousands of dollars of damage to fenders and our dinghy, we have had our dinghy punctured," Westhaven Marina berth owner Simon Hull told 1 NEWS.

NIWA marine biologist Krista Hupman says Owha's behaviour is "very rare for a leopard seal from the Antarctic region".

"I think for Owha she is actually looking for some type of enrichment, so she is an extremely curious animal and she seems very comfortable in human environments," Ms Hupman says.

The massive leopard seal has become so comfortable she's been nudging paddle boarders and baring teeth at divers cleaning boats.

"The concern is, I think it's a matter of when, not if she grabs a child or a dog or something and that's unacceptable," Mr Hull says.

"DOC need to stand up and do their job and take it back to its natural habitat."

However, DOC says Owha's more inquisitive behaviour is normal and boaties may be the ones that need to learn to adapt.