Sea lion attacks New Zealand rowing boat
Animal also followed the boat onto shore to snarl at rowers.
Wed, Oct 13 2010 at 10:53 PM
NORMALLY FINE: Sea lions typically share the water and shore with humans. (Photo: Dan Taylor/Flickr)
An angry sea lion attacked a rowing boat in New Zealand's Otago Harbour, cracking the 40,000 dollar (30,000 US) vessel's hull, it was reported Thursday.
The sea lion smashed into the University of Otago boat from beneath the surface of the water on Wednesday morning, breaking the hull in two places and causing panic amongst the eight-man crew, the Otago Daily Times reported.
"I saw this dark figure looming under the boat. I felt it hit and, seconds after, water came gushing up... it was panic stations," rower Matt Smail told the Otago Daily Times.
It said the boat started taking on water and the crew headed to the nearest boat ramp, with the irate mammal following them.
"It walked up the ramp and gave us a bit of a snarl," another rower, Adam Garden said.
No one was injured in the attack, which university rowing coach Sonya Walker said occurred in an area where sea lions were often present but usually co-existed peacefully with boat users.
"We try and share the water with them," she said.
Adult male sea lions can be up to 3.5 meters (12 feet) long and weigh 400 kilograms (880 pounds), according to New Zealand's Department of Conservation, which warns people not to approach the animals.
Copyright 2010 AFP Asian Edition
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