Dunedin City Council Nabs PETA Hero to Animals Award

Animal Rights Group Applauds Council for Protecting Sea Lion and Pup 

Dunedin – Dunedin City Mayor Aaron Hawkins has today received a Hero to Animals Award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for the council’s compassionate decision to close a local road in order to protect a sea lion and her pup.

The sea lion, named Hiriwa, chose to give birth to her pup amid some bushes at the Chisholm Links Golf Course and Country Club. After spotting the animal and her baby, Dunedin City Council decided to shut down the adjacent road for a month so Hiriwa could take care of her pup.

“We take our hats off to the council for this compassionate decision, showing care and respect for this sea lion and her baby,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “Sea lions are sentient beings with complex emotions and a will to live just like humans, and they all deserve the same kindness and respect that Hiriwa has been shown by Dunedin City Council.”

The group has also applauded Chisholm Links management and staff for respecting the mother’s right to nurture her baby in peace and privacy.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview, and notes that sea lion mothers are no different to cows or humans when it comes to their desire to nurture and nurse their young.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.