Fur seal makes himself comfortable on streets of Oamaru

A man witnessed the fur seal wandering the streets of Oamaru on Wednesday night.
A man witnessed the fur seal wandering the streets of Oamaru on Wednesday night. Photo credit: Facebook/Glen Curry

A fur seal is probably the last thing you'd expect to see wandering the streets of Oamaru.

But that's exactly what Glen Curry witnessed on Wednesday night. He posted a photo of the explorative creature on the Oamaru Today Facebook page, and had a few locals scratching their heads.

"Check out this bad boy out cruising town tonight," the post says.

Even police were notified of the seemingly lost seal.

"Police received a report about 6:40pm of a seal in the carpark of the aquatic centre," a spokeswoman told Newshub.

"We referred this one to DoC (Department of Conservation)."

A DoC spokesman told Newshub New Zealand fur seals are now experiencing a population comeback.

"This means we'll be seeing more of them playing along our rocky shorelines throughout mainland New Zealand, Chatham Islands and the Subantarctic Islands.

"Seals can wander as far as 15 kilometres inland, often by following rivers and streams.

"They can appear in unusual places, such as a paddock, roadside or an inner-city street. This is a normal occurrence from exploratory behaviour."

Many saw the funny side of the seal's explorative nature.

"Well, that's a different type of seal on the road," one Facebook user said.

"Should've used the crossing, much safer," another commented.

And even the mayor jumped on the bandwagon.

"Oamaru gets the seal of approval," Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher posted.

DoC says seals are "capable and resilient" and given time and space, they usually find their way home.

If you see a seal, DoC advises staying at least 20 metres away.