Lord Howe Island Board, The Lord Howe Island Signal
Residents and visitors are advised that a leopard seal has been observed on the southern end of Middle Beach since Sunday and is likely to stay in the area for several days to rest and recover.
Beachgoers are advised not to approach the seal and adhere to a 40 metre exclusion zone.
Leopard seals are predatory animals with big teeth that feed on penguins, fish, squid and crustaceans and commonly inhabit pack-ice surrounding the Antarctica.
They are known to do travel more widely with sightings from the New South Wales and Tasmanian mainland coasts, with previous records from Lord Howe Island.
Warning signs have been posted on the north and south entry to Middle Beach to deter beachgoers and dog walkers from getting close to the seal.
The seal has cookie cutter shark bite wounds, which are showing signs of healing, and the seal will be monitored over the coming days.
This article appeared in The Lord Howe Island Signal, 30 September 2021.