November 8 - 14, 2020: Issue 473


Off-leash Dog in Long Reef Aquatic Reserve Attacks Seal

Images supplied.

A reader forwarded photos this week of a dog attacking a seal that had come ashore to rest at Long Reef Aquatic Reserve - a NO DOGS area.

The Reader said;

''I witnessed a dog attacking a seal at Long Reef Aquatic Reserve. It is a well known aquatic reserve but this **** had his dog off leash. 

The dog circled the poor seal that was resting on the beach. Then the dog nipped the seal. The seal bellowed and the dog kept at it. The owner stayed way back. The dog drove the seal into the water. We thought the seal would be bitten. 

We also thought the dog would be killed. The dog did not seem scared at all and kept going at the seal. 

The owner had no control over his dog and did not approach the seal or the dog. However once in the deeper water the dog continued chasing. As the dog was in deep water the owner eventually waded in to retrieve it. 

Then dragged his dog away.''

Under NSW State law, you must keep yourself at least 40m away from any seal on shore - this is 80metres if it is a seal pup.

If you do spot a seal that has come ashore to rest please assist ORCCA by letting them know through calling 9415 3333. They can then liaise with Council in ensuring the seal has peace and safety.

Council state they are ''currently investigating a dog attack on a seal at Long Reef Beach earlier this week'' and that if anyone has any information to please call their Rangers on 1300 434 434

This phone number can be used 24/7 to report dogs where they shouldn't be.

Reaction from the community to the images, first posted on this news services' Facebook page, has been strong condemnation and a widespread 'fed up with these huge sense of entitlement idiots' response. Anger has also been directed at Council for a perceived lack of action around what residents state are dogs off-leash where they shouldn't be; on beaches and in bush reserves, everywhere and all the time, unchallenged.

The images sent in have become part of an almost daily receipt of photos of dogs on beaches or in our bush reserves with those sending them stating when they point out the clearly installed 'no dogs' signage they are verbally abused or threatened with physical violence. 

Others state they have even been 'targeted', stalked and harassed on social media platforms by what they call 'dog lobbyists' for objecting to having dogs run at their children or being witnesses to wildlife being chased or mauled. The purpose appears to be to silence any objections through bullying.

One well-known international and local bird photographer recently stated he saw a dog chasing a pied oystercatcher pair at Narrabeen - this bird is one of a pair that had been part of the seascape of that place for years prior to recent times. Pied oystercatchers are listed as endangered in New South Wales with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment estimating there are fewer than 200 breeding pairs in the state.

A lifelong birder witnessing this also further diminishes our area with the thousands and thousands of birders across our the LGA, Australia and worldwide.

Reports of dogs chasing birds, mauling wildlife, attacking people and even killing other dogs in front of distraught owners are growing. The latest dog attack statistics for the LGA still have this area only second to the Central Coast LGA where there is over twice the number of registered dogs then those registered in this area - their attacks to June 2020 is recorded as 58 - the Northern Beaches LGA was 57.

Readers photo - dog on Turimetta beach - this beach was once home to a fairy penguin colony

Readers photos; dogs on Newport Beach - residents report they are there morning and afternoon

As there are so many green avenues and pavements and dog-parks in our area, including several where you may take your dog for a dip, and we are no longer living in the 1970s', the community reiterates ''if it is not an off-leash dog park your dog must be on a leash''. 

Clear signage is in place everywhere to indicate this. NO DOGS in Wildlife Preservation Areas (WPA's) at any time - NO DOGS in Aquatic Reserves at any time.