A leopard seal normally found in Antarctica has turned up on Wellington's Lyall Bay.
The seal, which normally inhabits Antarctic pack ice, was first spotted on Tuesday morning in the dog exercise area of the beach.
DOC technical advisor in marine species Dave Lundquist said the seal appeared to be in good condition and was likely just having a rest.
He asked the public to give the animal a wide berth and to keep dogs on a leash.
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"There's been rough seas so we would suspect it just needs a rest for a minute and it will move on," he said.
"It looks to be in good condition except for the bite marks, there's no active bleeding or anything like that.
"There's no real reason to be concerned, other than to make sure that dogs and people stay away and let it have a rest."
DOC said leopard seals dispersed northwards into the Southern Ocean during autumn and winter, ocasionally visiting New Zealand.
Lundquist said they turned up in Wellington a couple of times a year.
There was also a humpback whale spotted in the Wellington Harbour on Tuesday morning, and DOC are advising that people keep their distance.