Big Mumma

Big Mumma (Mum) – Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I spent the afternoon enjoying the lovely beach at St Clair. It wasn’t particularly sunny, however it wasn’t windy either and that was good enough for me. I parked at St Kilda and walked over the dunes onto the beach and along to St Clair before scrambling up the rocks to the esplanade to see a statue of a Sea Lion called ‘Mum.’ 

I had recently read that according to a recent Department of Conservation report, 29 New Zealand Sea Lion pups were born in Otago and Southland over the 2021/2022 breeding season. This is a remarkable effort considering at one point the New Zealand Sea Lion population was nearly extinct. 

It had been nearly 150 years since a New Zealand Sea Lion birth was recorded on the mainland. Then, one day around Christmas in 1993, a female Sea Lion turned up at Taieri Mouth to give birth to a pup. Over the ensuing years the Sea Lion became known as  ‘Mum.’ Now, many years later the growth of the Sea Lion population has continued and Sea Lions are a common site on local beaches.

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