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Special Interest Forums => Ultimate Animal Lovers => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 15, 2011, 03:26:10 pm

Title: There's a fur-seal on the couch!!
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 15, 2011, 03:26:10 pm

Seal pup wanders into home

By KIRI GILLESPIE - Bay of Plenty Times | 2:01PM - Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This young seal pup went straight for the couch
at Annette Swoffer's Welcome Bay home.
 — Photo: Department of Conservation.

A WANDERING BABY FUR-SEAL wriggled through the cat-door of a Welcome Bay house — and made himself at home on the couch.

A stunned Annette Swoffer thought she must have been hallucinating when she found the young pup hanging out with her cats in her kitchen on Sunday night.

The seal had made its way from the Welcome Bay waterfront, through the suburb's residential area, across busy Welcome Bay Road, up a slip road, along Ms Swoffer's long driveway, under a gate, through the cat door and up some stairs before he was found in the kitchen about 9.30pm.

"I was in my office and I heard an awful racket down below... I thought the cats have brought a rabbit or something in so I went down and had a look — and there's a seal in my kitchen."

"I thought ‘I'm hallucinating, this is just wrong’."

Stunned, Ms Swoffer called a friend who lives in a unit at the same property to come and verify what she was seeing.

"I'm looking and I'm definitely seeing flippers and not paws."

Calmly, the young pup then eased past Ms Swoffer's dog and cats before making himself at home on a couch and attempting to snuggle in for the night.

"Then it looks at me with those huge brown eyes. It was so cute, but I didn't touch it because you don't with wild animals."

The fur seal pup makes itself at home on the couch.
 — Photo: Department of Conservation.

Ms Swoffer called the SPCA.

"They were giggling away and I'm saying ‘I'm not drunk, I'm not lying’, there's a seal in my house."

The SPCA contacted the Department of Conservation, which was already looking for a seal reported hopping along Welcome Bay Road.

Ms Swoffer said the pup was "really friendly" and not aggressive in the slightest — which is unusual for seals.

"I was standing there thinking ‘this is really strange’," Ms Swoffer said.

Chris Clark, biodiversity programme manager for DOC, arrived to remove the young pup and release him back into the water.

It was not his first time doing so that day.

Mr Clark had already spent the afternoon capturing what he believed was the same seal after it traipsed through the Devonport Road area between 11th and 12th Avenues.

It ended up in a residential garden, scaring elderly residents.

He believed the pup had "obviously just weaned from its mum".

The pup had come up from Memorial Park and Mr Clark, with police help, eventually managed to coax it into a net and then release it into the Tauranga Harbour near Harbourside Restaurant that afternoon.

Mr Clark said that although seals can look "very cuddly", they were wild creatures and needed to be treated as such.

At Ms Swoffer's home, the seal was put in a net and box but as it was being driven away in the DOC vehicle, it escaped and made its way up to the front of the vehicle, accidentally turning on the radio and ending up on the front seat.

Mr Clark today said he was called out again about 9 o'clock last night after a seal was seen on Turret Road but it had disappeared by the time he arrived.

Anyone who encounters a seal, or other wild animal, should call the DOC hotline 0800 DOC HOT before emergency services.


Title: Re: There's a fur-seal on the couch!!
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 15, 2011, 03:27:04 pm

Cheeky seal's antics surprise experts

Bay of Plenty Times | 11:25AM - Thursday, December 15, 2011


MARINE EXPERTS have shared their surprise at a cheeky Tauranga seal whose couch-surfing antics at a stranger's house have made headlines across the world.
Lucky the fur seal pup — named after its knack for crossing busy Tauranga streets without wearing tyre tracks — has become a media hit since inviting itself into Annette Swoffer's Welcome Bay home and on to her sofa for a lie-down on Sunday night.
The seal was videoed by a shocked Mrs Swoffer resting its head against the arm rest — perhaps worn out from causing more mischief at another house 5km away that day before squeezing through her tiny cat door.
It was the second of three times it has attracted call-outs for Department of Conservation rangers, who had already returned it back in the sea twice and aren't convinced it won't drop in to someone else's house soon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooigN_JUEyM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooigN_JUEyM)

By yesterday, the seal had made a splash in newspapers across the country, on Campbell Live and inspired puns by the British media — the Daily Mail matching a picture of the snuggled-up seal with a headline "Pipe and flippers, sir?" and the Huffington Post saying Mrs Swoffer's home won the "seal of approval".
The Bay of Plenty Times' first report on Lucky's home invasion, with cute pictures of it reclining on the couch, was the most popular story on BayofPlentyTimes.co.nz (http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz) early today.
Mrs Swoffer's theory on how the seal came to slide through the cat flap and up her stairs is shared by wildlife expert and Otago University senior lecturer Dr Bruce Robertson.
Dr Robertson said: "When they get on to land, they don't have very good vision as their eyes are suited for the water. Possibly, it's seen a similarly dark cat and followed it through a cat flap and once inside it's made itself at home."

http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/cheeky-seals-antics-surprise-marine-experts/1209711 (http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/cheeky-seals-antics-surprise-marine-experts/1209711)

Title: Re: There's a fur-seal on the couch!!
Post by: Alicat on December 18, 2011, 09:39:36 pm
I wonder what my Seal Burmese Boy would have made of a Seal coming in via the cat door.