TASMANIA - It was an unusual Boxing Day (Dec 26) surprise for Tasmanian resident William Gregory, as he awoke to the sight of a huge Australian fur seal sitting on the roof of his car.
The adult male had somehow found its way to Penquite Road in the Launceston suburb of Newstead, 50km from the ocean, according to ABC News.
The 200kg seal, which Tasmania Police nicknamed "Mr Lou-Seal", was first spotted in the middle of the road around 5.45am.
It climbed over two cars parked in Mr Gregory's driveway. Photos by Tasmania Police show that the cars, which were slightly dented, had cracked windscreens.
Mr Gregory told ABC News: "You kind of wake up and you wonder, is this really happening, am I really seeing this or am I still dreaming?
"We'll replace the windscreen and pop a few dents out, they're just old cars so it doesn't really matter. It's worth it," he said.
Police cordoned off the seal as it slept and people in the house were stuck inside for a few hours, as they awaited the arrival of Parks and Wildlife officers, who tranquilised the creature before carrying it onto a trailer.
Mr Lou-Seal will be released at a beach in Tasmania's north-west, after a medical check-up.
It was not the first time seals had been spotted in the area, Mr Gregory told ABC News.
"A couple of long-term locals told me that it's happened a couple of times over the years," he said. "There is a little estuary right behind our house so I imagine he's just swam out there... and found himself out on the street."
Wildlife biologist Rachel Alderman was not surprised at the seal's Boxing Day appearance, according to the report, as Tasmania is home to a large population of the creatures.
"At this time of year, it's not unusual for us to locate fur seals in rather strange locations," she said. "Most of the breeding colonies are up in Bass Strait... so at this time of the year, all the seals are sort of congregating up in that neck of the woods."
She added that seals have been found in unusual locations in the past, such as paddocks and car parks, and even a cemetery toilet last year.
— ABC News 24 (@ABCNews24) December 26, 2016