Basic Kiwi ingenuity is helping endangered sea lion pups out of tough spots on one of New Zealand's most remote islands.
Researchers had been worried about the needless deaths of pups in holes on Enderby Island, in the Auckland Islands, with the animals proving themselves unable to pull themselves up the steep sides after getting stuck.
Earlier this summer, researchers had rescued 65 pups from the holes.
"If pups fall into these holes and can't climb out, they can suffer from hypothermia, starve or drown," said Milena Palka, WWF-New Zealand's Marine Species Advocate.
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"Sea lions face so many other threats, such as entanglement in fishing gear, disease and competition for food, that we need to do everything we can to give these pups the best chance of survival."
To give them a helping hand, WWF supporters paid for 12 ramps to be installed in holes around the island, as well the repair of existing ramps on on Campbell and Dundas Islands.
GoPro footage has since captured 23 pups hauling themselves out.
Ian Angus, the Department of Conservation's marine species and threats manager, said the results of the trial had been "very exciting".
DOC would keep monitoring the ramps to see how they could best assist the sea lions through the year.
New Zealand sea lions are the rarest species of sea lion in the world and the most threatened because of their declining numbers.
They are classified as nationally critical and are only found in Otago, Southland, Stewart Island and the Subantarctic Islands.