After breaking into someone’s house in New Zealand, disturbing the family’s cat, hanging out on the couch and chilling in the hallway for hours while the children slept upstairs, the internet is ablaze with laughter over this curious little seal’s amusing tale.
Remarkably, the young “teenage” seal did it all without causing any damage to the home.
On Wednesday (August 17) morning, the Ross family of Mount Maunganui was more than a little taken aback when they discovered a New Zealand fur seal had broken into their house, which is located less than 1,000 feet from the ocean.
Phil Ross said it was unfortunate that he was the only member of the family who was not at home when it happened, considering he is a marine biologist.
“The big joke is that this is really the only family emergency where it would be useful to have a marine biologist in the house,” Phil told The Guardian. “I really missed my time to shine.”
According to Phil, his wife Jenn Ross got up just a few minutes before 6 o’clock on Wednesday morning so that she could go to the gym.
“As she got in the car, something barked from underneath and shuffled away. She thought it was someone’s dog … and didn’t really think too much of it,” Phil said.
Jenn returned around 7am, opening the door to find “a cute little seal.”
“It got a bit of a fright and humped its way down the hallway into the spare room,” she said.
Phil thinks that the seal had been successful in entering the family’s house through the cat flaps that were installed.
He also believes it had a confrontation with the family’s territorial cat, Coco, outside shortly after Jenn had left the home, and that the seal had probably been inside for an hour before that.
“The cat would have gone to defend its territory and obviously the seal wasn’t as intimidated as some dogs are, so Coco must have bolted around the side of the house, into the catflap, and the seal must have followed her,” Phil said.
Noah, age 12, and Ari, age 10, were eventually awoken by their mother Jenn so that they could come and view “their new pet.”
“They thought it was cool and pretty exciting but were totally oblivious to the fact that … not many of their mates would have seals come to visit them in their houses,” Ross recalled.
Before Jenn was successful in getting the seal to leave the house through the front door and into the garden, it chilled in the hallway and hung out on the couch.
During this time, Coco the Cat had managed to gain access to the neighbor’s home. When Coco got back to its own house, it refused to walk downstairs since it was “clearly pretty traumatized,” as the owners put it.
At ten o’clock in the morning, a ranger from the Department of Conservation arrived to return the seal to the ocean.
According to Phil and Jenn, the seal was actually quite pleasant company and had not even urinated or pooped anywhere inside their home.
“It was a good guest, as far as when I opened the front door and gave it some space it decided to go and be curious about the outdoors once more,” Jenn said.
The family had given the seal the nickname “Oscar” in keeping with a long-standing practice in the neighborhood of giving seals that name.
It was not unusual to observe young seals exploring the region at this time of year because, according to Phil, the young ones are beginning to wean and move out on their own for the first time.
Seals of this age are likely to make unwise decisions, such as venturing out to swim in poor weather and then retreating to land to rest afterward.
“I guess, like all teenagers, they don’t necessarily make sensible decisions,” Phil joked.
The population of New Zealand fur seals is on the rise and has begun to recolonize a significant portion of their old territory.
Seals may look adorable, but they are incredibly agile animals that are capable of inflicting devastating injury if they feel threatened. In addition to this, they spread infectious diseases.
Coco the Cat, meanwhile, is still recovering from the traumatizing incident.
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