An adventurous seal made a 30 kilometre journey up Waihou River and through farmland before ending up in a paddock in Hauraki.
The “gypsy” seal has since been returned to sea after its lengthy exploit.
On Monday morning mum-of-two Lucy Redgrave was driving on State Highway 26 in Hikutaiā on her way to drop her children off at kindy when she passed the flash of grey.
“I was like, did I just see a seal in the paddock?”
It would have had to cross the road from the Waihou River and trek a few kilometres before ending up at that roadside paddock, Redgrave, a Hikutaiā local, said.
She barely believed what she was seeing.
While seals occasionally show up in the river looking for trout, this one had strayed a long way.
“He had gone quite a few kilometres through the paddock and crossed the road. He was quite lost.
“It shows just how far they will travel to fill their stomach. But I don’t know what made him travel as far as he did.”
He seemed distressed and Redgrave called the Department of Conservation to return the seal to the sea.
“I think he had figured out he was way too far from home. I knew he wasn’t going to find his way back.”
The seal is now back “frolicking with the fishes” at Firth of Thames, the Thames-Coromandel District Council.
This article was originally published on Stuff.co.nz. Read the original here.
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