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A curious young seal broke into a New Zealand home, harassed the family’s cat, and hung out in the hallway for a few hours.
The Ross family received an unexpected visitor on Wednesday morning. Phil Ross is a marine biologist at the University of Waikato. He and his wife Jenn have two children, Noah and Ari, and live just over 150 feet from the beach where they often see seals, especially at this time of year.
The seal entered through one of the family’s cat flaps, either at the garage door or through the front door.
Just before 6 a.m., Jenn left to go to the gym.
“As she got into the car, something barked from below and shuffled away. She thought it was someone’s dog, but didn’t think too much about it.’ Phil explained.
When she returned an hour later, she opened the door and found the family’s newest pet: “a cute little seal.”
“He got a little startled and made his way down the hall to the guest room.”
Phil identified the seal as a 10-month-old New Zealand fur seal. It invaded the house and terrorized the family cat, but Phil suspected the cat was the main culprit.
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“I’ve never heard of seals going through cat flaps, but I blame our cat Coco. Coco is quite territorial and tends to go out on dogs. I imagine she took a swipe at the seal, that didn’t go back down, and then proceeded to chase her around the side of the house and through two cat doors, to the garage and then to the lower part of our house.” Phil explained to FOX 9 in an email. “Coco hid at the neighbor’s house and didn’t come home until the seal was gone. The next day she didn’t go down where the seal was. We didn’t see the seal-cat interaction, but it was clearly something true Coco didn’t enjoy it,”
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The seal pup was in the house for about 90 minutes before Jenn led him outside, where he was later captured by a Department of Conservation ranger.
“Jenn, my wife, is very cold-blooded in these situations and handled the situation perfectly,” he continued.
The seal has been released safely into a local estuary, Phil said.
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“It is very common for young seals to end up on unusual stretches of coastline at this time of year. The young begin to be weaned, set out on their own and, like most teenagers, can make poor decisions about where to end up. have just had a pretty big storm so quite a few seals come to the beach for some rest and recuperation before going back out to sea This particular seal was clearly in good condition so decided to explore across the sand dunes and ended up near streets and houses,” said Phil