Fairfax Media

Large fur seal climbs on car, smashes windscreen in Australia

Wandering mammal becomes ‘sealebrity’ by seeking a spot to snooze in the suburbs

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2016, 11:33am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2016, 11:35am

By Georgina Mitchell

A large seal has been captured by wildlife authorities after it wandered up a suburban street and climbed on a car, smashing the windscreen and denting the roof.

The Australian fur seal, dubbed “Lou-Seal” by Tasmanian police, was discovered on a street in the city of Launceston’s suburb of Newstead.

There are small waterways dotted around Newstead, however the suburb is about 50 kilometres inland - suggesting the seal had a long trek from its usual habitat.

Photographs showed the large adult male sitting on the bonnet of a car in busy Penquite Road, barely left with room to turn around.

The seal was then pictured taking a snooze on a garden path next to a fence, while the car was left with significant damage.

Sergeant Renee Stewart from Tasmania Police said the seal was “just chilling out, enjoying his Boxing Day morning”.

“He’s sleeping behind a couple of parked cars in a resident’s driveway,” she told Sky News early on Monday.

“There’s actually a waterway, river outlet across the road from where he is, which is how we believe he’s actually made his way into suburbia.”

The seal was first seen in parkland, before it crossed the road and settled in to the front yard of a home.

“He’s taken a bit of a shining to a resident’s vehicle, which he lay on and had a bit of a sleep on for a while before he climbed up and over the roof, leaving considerable damage to that vehicle,” Ms Stewart said.

Ms Stewart said the seal was “having a sleep” as police watched on, waiting for Parks and Wildlife officers to arrive. Residents were advised to steer clear of the animal to avoid agitating it.


Finally, just before 11am, the seal was tranquilised, moved into a trailer and driven away.

The “sealebrity” will be given a medical check-up before it’s released, police said.

“Tasmania Police thank the public for staying at a safe distance,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Male Australian fur seals can grow to two metres long and can weigh more than 360 kilograms.

It is thought to be the first time in Tasmania that one has ventured so far inland.

Large fur seal climbs on car, smashes windscreen in Launceston adventure