440-Pound Seal Wanders Through Neighborhood, Leaves Smashed and Dented Cars in its Wake
The Australian fur seal was named "Mr. Lou-Seal" by authorities.
A huge seal lumbered through an Australian neighborhood Monday, leaving dented cars and confused residents in its wake.
After a homeowner in Newstead, Tasmania alerted authorities to the seal at 5:45 a.m. local time, wildlife officers spent hours trying to catch it. Local reports estimated the Australian fur seal, dubbed "Mr. Lou-Seal" by Tasmanian police, weighed as much as 200kg or 440 pounds.
At one point, the seal climbed on top of a parked car, denting its hood and cracking its windscreen. It then took a nap behind the vehicle.
"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," a resident, Will Gregory, told ABC in Australia. "You kind of wake up and you wonder, 'Is this really happening, am I really seeing this or am I still dreaming?'"
Mr. Lou-Seal was eventually tranquilized by wildlife officers near a home and put into a trailer.
"After a sealiously big morning, 'Mr. Lou-Seal' is now a sealebrity," police wrote on Facebook Monday. They added he will be released back into the wild after a medical check-up.
While Newstead is more than 30 miles from the ocean, it's close to the North Esk River, giving some explanation as to how Mr. Lou-Seal ended up in the neighborhood.
According to the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, it is not uncommon for seals to be found in its towns inland after traveling through rivers.
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