I took this which i thought was an ordinary Sea Lion off Waipapa point on the 24th Feb last year. Just found out it is a VERY rare New Zealand (or Hooker’s) Sea Lion.
In 1993, a female sea lion nicknamed “Mum” decided to have her pup on an Otago Peninsula beach. This was the first sea lion born on the mainland in over 100 years. Now, over 150 sea lions live on the mainland, and the Otago peninsula averages 4 new pups born each year, almost all related to “Mum.”
NZ sea lions are also starting to breed in the Catlins and on Stewart Island.