People are being warned to keep their dogs on a lead on a popular Matua walkway to help protect an injured seal pup.

Three women are on the Beach Rd walkway are guarding the pup.

One of the women said she had been there since 11am and was still waiting for someone from the Department of Conservation to arrive.

She said the area was popular for walking dogs and she did not want a dog to find the pup and kill it.

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The pup has a visible injury to its back but otherwise appears to be resting while the tide is out.

The seal is injured and resting on the rocks. Photo / Kiri Gillespie
The seal is injured and resting on the rocks. Photo / Kiri Gillespie

Department of Conservation senior bio-diversity ranger Brad Angus said two rangers were responding to the report.

He said seal season was starting so sightings might increase in the next few weeks.

''We need to explain at that time of year a lot of young pups will come in and they're often a bit skinny on it and I just looking for someone to rest.''

DoC did not respond to every call but it also had a team of dedicated volunteers that could also go out to check on seals.

Most of the time the seals just needed to be left alone Angus said and in the worst-case scenario, they would be euthanised.