Seal invades a residence in New Zealand, traumatizes the cat, and sits on the couch. After sneaking in through a catflap, the baby fur seal spent more than two hours inside the marine biologist's house.
(Photo : Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
After coming into a New Zealand home, pestering the resident cat, and hanging around in the hallway for a few hours as the kids slept upstairs, an inquisitive juvenile seal was released back into the sea. Amazingly, nothing was damaged.
The New Zealand fur seal was found in the Ross family's Mt Maunganui house on Wednesday morning, around 150 meters from the coast. This caught them by complete surprise.
The marine researcher Phil Ross lamented that he was the only one who wasn't at home at the time.
The great delight is that this is the one family emergency where having a marine biologist around would be beneficial, he added. My chance to shine slipped my mind.
(Photo : Getty Images)
According to Ross, Jenn, his wife, arose on Wednesday just before 6 am to visit the gym.
"Something barked from below and moved away as she entered the car. She assumed it was someone's dog and didn't give it much attention.
Around 7 am, she came back and found "a cute little seal" when she opened the door.
It moved into the spare room by humping its way down the hallway after getting startled.
Ross claimed that the seal could enter the house through two cat flaps. It had probably been inside for an hour when it came into contact with the family's aggressive cat, Coco, just after Jenn had left the property.
The seal wasn't as easily scared as some dogs are, so Coco must have sprinted into the catflap and around the side of the house, where the cat would have gone to protect its territory. The seal must have then followed Coco.
Noah, 12, and Ari, 10, were awakened by Jenn to come to meet "their new pet."
Although they were completely unaware that few of their friends would have seals visit them in their homes, they thought it was wonderful and thrilling.
Before Jenn could coax the seal out the front door and into the yard, it spent some time in the spare room and on the couch. After a hectic morning of seal-related call-outs, a Department of Conservation ranger showed out at 10 am to take the seal back to the sea.
Oscar Traumatazing Coco
Ross stated that the seal, which the family dubbed "Oscar" in keeping with a long-standing custom of calling seals that name in the neighborhood, proved pleasant company and happily had not urinated inside. That, in my opinion, would have been the end of the furniture.
The cat, Coco, escaped and ended up at the neighbor's house. It refused to walk downstairs when it returned to its own house since it was "obviously extremely traumatized."
Young seals were starting to wean and venture out on their own at this time of year, according to Ross, so it was common to see them wandering about the region.
As with any teen, I suppose, they don't always make wise choices.
A large portion of their old territory is being recolonized by the New Zealand fur seal population, which is rising. Seals are adorable but can act rapidly and cause terrible harm if they feel threatened. They also spread contagious illnesses.
The Department of Conservation advises avoiding making loud noises near them, remaining at least 20 meters away, and keeping children and pets far away from them.