Sometimes getting out of bed is tough - just ask Taimana.
The large female leopard seal was caught on camera falling off a berth during a relaxing moment at the Tauranga Marina in November.
Dolphin Seafaris NZ photographer Nathan Pettigrew this week uploaded the video to social media. He said he was at the marina and overheard on one of the worker's radios that a leopard seal was on a berth.
"The marina was closed off due to Covid so I walked around to the part that wasn't and set up my big lens and managed to get the video.
"I could see it coming when I was filming.
"I could see her rolling back and forth and I thought, 'come on come on she's going to go in'. I was trying to keep the camera still because I was laughing," he said.
Pettigrew said he worked closely with the Department of Conservation and a leopard seal hadn't been spotted in the area for about 12 months before that.
He said he managed to identify the seal as a female named Taimana who had been spotted in Auckland nine days prior.
"They all have different spots and marks so I went through old files and identified it. It was verified by the organisation LeopardSeals.org."
According to their website, leopard seals are the second largest seal species, weighing up to 600kg. Only the southern elephant seals grow larger.
During the winter months leopard seals are known to move north away from the Antarctic and towards warmer areas.
Pettigrew said he knew Taimana had been around the country for a while because she was in good health.
"She was fat, she was in good nick. The ones that come straight up from Antarctica that I've seen before are quite thin."
Leopard Seals NZ research assistant Rick Bout said an on-site volunteer had done a proxy measurement and found that Taimana was 2.3m long.
"Given adult females reach 3.5m and around 600kg we estimated that she probably weighed somewhere between 200kg and 300kg," he said.
Bout said sadly there had been no further sightings of her since she was seen in Tauranga in November.
Tauranga residents have had several close encounters with ocean wildlife over the past few months including with sharks and orca.
Safety guidelines when watching seals
According to the Department of Conservation when watching seals you should:
• Stay at least 20m away
• Don't disturb seals by making loud noises or throwing things
• Keep dogs and children away
• Don't feed the seals
• Never attempt to touch a seal.
More information can be found here.