Seal interrupts morning commuters, video goes viral

Monitoring Desk

AUCKLAND: A young seal caused some unexpected entertainment for early-morning commuters in New Zealand after wandering across a busy Dunedin road.

Police were called to Portobello Rd, near Proctors Rd in The Cove, just after 8:00 am after a small seal was seen crossing the road. It had settled in a nearby cycleway shortly before 9:00 am, a police spokeswoman said.

It attracted a crowd of onlookers and witnesses helped direct cyclists around the animal in their path.

Video filmed at the scene shows the animal appears to be a New Zealand fur seal, although police were unable to confirm the species.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) had been notified and there were no reports of significant traffic congestion, the spokeswoman said.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation said seals tend to leave their breeding colonies around this time of year to go exploring.

The department recommended to takes a ‘hands off’ approach to seals. They are capable and resilient and given time and space, they usually find their way home.

Seals are wild animals and will defend themselves if they feel threatened and adult animals can move surprisingly quickly on land. While they can look harmless, it can inflict serious injuries to dogs or people and can carry infectious diseases.