Move over, dog eating homework — here comes a 600kg southern elephant seal named Neil disrupting the morning commute in Primrose Sands, Tasmania.
Amber Harris woke up to an extraordinary sight on Tuesday morning when Neil decided to make her front yard his temporary resting place.
At 6:20am, Neil decided to explore the surroundings, wandering onto Ms Harris’s front deck and curiously peering inside her door.
After inspecting the garage, Neil found a cozy spot right in front of Ms Harris’s car for a few hours.
“He’s outside having a little nap,” she told ABC Radio Hobart.
“He has moved around. He’s been on my front deck, he’s had his little head — well, big head — up on my hammock, and he’s now down blocking my car.”
Unable to access her vehicle, Ms Harris had no choice but to make an unexpected call to her boss, explaining the unique situation.
Surprisingly, her boss took the news in good humour, and Neil’s visit became a delightful topic at the office.
“There’s not a lot you can do with a 600kg seal at your car,” she said. “[Work] got all the photos, so they knew it was legitimate. It’s given everyone in the office a bit of a laugh.”
Despite attempts to entice Neil away with food, Ms Harris shared that a wildlife expert informed her that it was unlikely to be successful.
“He probably won’t eat anything because, when he comes up onto land, he’ll be up here for about three to four weeks, and he usually uses that for hibernation,” she said.
However, after a few hours of enjoying his time in her yard, Neil was spotted making his way back to the beach.
While Ms Harris remains unsure why Neil chose her front yard, she welcomes his presence, stating: “I’m across the road from the beach. So he’s made his way all the way up, up a dirt road and across. I have no idea why he’s chosen my front yard, but he’s welcome to stay as long as he wants.”
Neil has gained local fame as a popular attraction, often spotted galumphing from Primrose Sands beach and resting at various spots along the shore.
Tasmania’s Marine Conservation program has even created an Instagram page for Neil, tracking his movements and sharing updates with the community.
Southern elephant seals, like Neil, migrate to various sub-Antarctic Islands from September to November for breeding.
Between January and April, these remarkable animals shed their hair and skin.
With males weighing as much as 3000kg and females up to 900kg, Neil’s visit serves as a reminder of the diverse wildlife that can grace Tasmania’s shores.
Originally published as Neil, the 600kg seal, blocks woman’s car, disrupts morning commute