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Rāpoka are endemic to Aotearoa and one of the rarest Sea Lions in the world. They are listed on the IUCN as endangered. The female Sea Lion, known as kake in te reo Māori (males are known as whakahao, and rāpoka is used more generically for all sea lions). The females are "lighter in colour, predominantly creamy grey with darker pigmentation around their flippers." (Department of Conservation: https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-an... )
Having a scratch on the sand at Victory Beach, the ocean-side boundary of Okia Reserve (https://www.yellow-eyedpenguin.org.nz/ou... ).
This lovely Sea Lion was one of about four - 2 seen in the water and 2 (including this spotting) seen on the sand. "Kake means ‘to climb,’ which resonates with the action females take as they scale the dunes to birth their pups. Whakahao means ‘to scoop’, referencing the strength in their movement on land and in the water. Pakake are of special significance to te iwi Māori." - (https://medium.com/resilience/pakake-fig... )
Spotted on Dec 29, 2021
Submitted on Dec 30, 2021
and 3 other people favorited this spotting