Storms bring sea slug hazard for dogs

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
A sign warning beach-goers of the danger of sea hares at Bunbury’s Back Beach.
Camera IconA sign warning beach-goers of the danger of sea hares at Bunbury’s Back Beach. Credit: South Western Times

Bunbury dog owners are again being warned to remain cautious of a slug-like sea creature which has washed up along the region’s coastline.

Anaspidea, commonly known as sea slug or sea hares, have been found along the city’s shoreline.

City of Bunbury rangers have installed signs along the coast to warn beach users and will continue to monitor the situation.

City of Bunbury ranger Aaron Beer warns beach-goers to look out for sea hares on the city's beaches.
Camera IconCity of Bunbury ranger Aaron Beer warns beach-goers to look out for sea hares on the city's beaches. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

The sea hares secrete a slime layer which can be harmful to dogs if they come in contact with it.

It is not uncommon for the creature to wash ashore this time of year and it is thought that recent storms have played a part.

Bunbury City Council has received a number of reports and said beachgoers should take care.

“The city’s rangers are currently installing warning signs along Bunbury’s coastline advising beach users to be aware of the sea hares as they are poisonous to dogs,” environmental health manager Sarah Upton said.

A sea hare, also known as a sea slug, washed up at the Back Beach, near Hastie Street.
Camera IconA sea hare, also known as a sea slug, washed up at the Back Beach, near Hastie Street. Credit: Zach Relph / South Western Times

“The sea hares may be hard to spot if they have become discoloured or tangled with seaweed.

“This is a seasonal occurrence and if a sea hare is found the public are asked to either remove it from the area by placing it in a waste bin, or to report it to the city (of Bunbury) so it can be removed.

“Should pet owners be concerned about their pet following a visit to the beach, it is recommended they seek assistance from a vet.

“City staff will continue to monitor the beaches and remove warning signage when the sea hares are no longer in the area.”

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