A "big" seal was spotted on the second lane on Takitimu Drive, heading up the road towards Mount Maunganui this afternoon.

A woman, who did not want to be named, said her husband had called her about the sighting just before 3pm, just past the Elizabeth St roundabout.

She said he was travelling the other direction and a woman and two kids were looking at it on their bikes on the Daisy Hardwick track.

Marine educator Nathan Pettigrew said sightings like this will become a lot more common as we head into the colder months.


And in the next few months, more pups would be showing up, too.

While Pettigrew had not yet been informed about this particular incident when contacted by the Bay of Plenty Times, he had already been called to three straying seals in the past week.

He said extra caution needed to be taken with these animals as they could pop up anywhere and did not understand what was and was not a danger.

He urged the public to keep a safe distance from the mammals as they came to the region to rest, and it was "imperative" they were left to rest.

"They come a long way, some from way down South."

He asked for those who spotted any seals on the beach to keep their dogs on a lead.

Pettigrew is currently searching for the seal.