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Sealed in style . . . Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony research scientist Dr Philippa Agnew is pleased new fencing has been installed to prevent seals from climbing into the grandstands at the colony. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Fencing designed to keep seals away from spectators has been erected at the viewing grandstands at the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony.

Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony research scientist Dr Philippa Agnew gave the new fencing her seal of approval.

Incidents of seals clambering over the old fencing had become more frequent, she said.

“This last winter, there seem to be more and more climbing over.

“Sometimes, they’ll climb over even during viewing, and if we’ve got a stand full of people, it becomes a bit of a health and safety issue.

“We need to get it to a point where it does prevent them from climbing over.”

The new aluminium fences are about 2.4m high.

Up to 20 seals often came to rest on the rocks near the colony, Dr Agnew said.

It appeared some of the the seals had clambered into the grandstands to seek shelter from inclement weather.

It was possible the colony would install more fences in the future, she said.

“We may not put the same type of fencing in, but we might look at something else because it seems that a few seals are still trying to get around that fence.”