NEWSTEAD, Australia, Dec. 26 (UPI) — An Australian couple woke up Christmas morning to find a fur seal doing its best impression of a hood ornament on their car, but residents of the town say this is not the first time a seal has tried to move in to the neighborhood.
Animal control officers in Newstead, a suburb of Tasmania, subdued the seal as it ran from driveway to driveway and car to car through the neighborhood, apparently unsure how to get back to the nearby waterway it came from.
“We got up and there was this great big seal on the roof of the car, which is definitely not what you’d expect on Boxing Day,” said William Gregory, a man staying at the house in Newstead where the seal was first spotted. “You kind of wake up and you wonder, is this really happening, am I really seeing this or am I still dreaming?”
The seal, an adult male weighing around 440 pounds, was spotted just before 6:00 a.m. scrambling onto, off of and between cars, leaving dents and a broken windshield in his wake. Officials said the seal stopped several times, taking naps and soaking up sun, but for the most part scampered away from people frightened.
Once Parks and Wildlife officials showed up, they blocked off the area, subdued the seal using several tranquilizer darts and then put him in the back of a truck.
“After a medical check-up, he will be released,” said Tasmania Police, who have dubbed “Mr. Lou-Seal” a “sealebrity” on their Facebook page.
Tasmania Police added 2 new photos.
**Update** After a sealiously big morning, “Mr Lou-Seal” (as nicknamed by Tasmania Police) is now a sealebrity and has been collected from Penquite Road, Newstead, by Parks & Wildlife officers.
After a medical check-up he will be released.
Tasmania Police thank the public for staying at a safe distance.