Mass mystery NZ fur seal deaths

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

More than 50 dead New Zealand fur seals have been found washed up on a beach in South Australia in unexplained circumstances, environmental officials said.

The discovery was made on Sunday in the remote Lincoln National Park with three of the seals taken to the University of Adelaide where post-mortem examinations were to be carried out Tuesday.

The South Australia Department of Environment and Natural Resources said 51 of the protected species were juveniles and two were considered young adults.

"There's no indication of foul play. Our people said they could have been dead for up to a week,'' a department spokesman told AFP.

"Because of the large number it's a concern and we hope to learn more from the post-mortems.''

New Zealand fur seals, generally considered docile, are found along Australia's southern coast and the coast of New Zealand's South Island.

The spokesman said there were some rocky outcrops off the Lincoln National Park coast that the seals used for breeding.

- AFP

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