A young seal seen on Christchurch's Waimairi Beach has been moved to a safer location.
Beach walkers feared the animal which was missing its mother would not make it without help.
Department of Conservation community ranger Vanessa Mander said a Christchurch City Council ranger has seen the pup in question and determined that it looked healthy and was likely resting on the beach due to rough seas.
"A volunteer was sent to the site to erect signage to warn the public to remain at a distance.
"We have since been advised that the seal pup has moved to the adjacent carpark and a DOC ranger has moved it to a safer location this morning."
The ranger said while the seal was a little thin and tired, it is healthy with no visible injuries.
"Spring is the time of year that seal pups are weaning from their mothers. Pups that are weaning will often have a period where they struggle to learn the skills required to catch food and can appear skinny.
"They will often rest on the beach during this period to gather strength for another attempt at feeding."
Resident Wendy Hill said she was walking her dog at the beach yesterday when she came across the seal.
"I recognised he was fairly tiny. He looked very emaciated and dehydrated."
She said other people at the beach were also concerned and told her the seal was in a better condition a few days ago.
Mander said DOC's policy is typically to take a hands-off approach to seals.
"While we do not intervene in cases of natural causes, if a seal is being harassed by people or dogs, or are causing disruption (like in a carpark) we encourage people to call 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).
Members of the public should never attempt to handle the seal themselves as they can be dangerous and can carry infectious diseases."
If you see a seal in public, stay at least 20m away, don't disturb it and never attempt to catch it, she said,
More information on what to do if you see a seal can be found on the DOC website here.