24 Jan 2014

Last seals leaving Napier marine park

8:03 pm on 24 January 2014

The remaining animals at Napier's Marineland are being prepared to leave for new homes.

The marine park was closed to the public in 2008 following the death of its last dolphin.

Six seals and two sea lions are under quarantine for 120 days and will then be shipped to new homes in Australia.

Marineland senior supervisor Regan Beckett said it will be sad to see the seals go but they have been found good homes in Australia.

A zoologist from the University of Otago, Liz Slooten, says the move is the end of an era of marine animals being kept in captivity.

The group Save Animals from Exploitation has been campaigning for years for the park to be closed. Executive director Hans Kriek hopes the marine mammals will settle in well and they will have a better future.

Proposed new uses for the Marineland site include a skate park, reef garden, amphitheatre and car park.