In an unusual case, a huge elephant seal left the sea shore and ventured into a Chilean town in middle of the night, leaving residents in the neighbourhood baffled and surprised.
Weighing three-tonnes, the seal was seen flopping around the street confused as cars were parked around, with onlookers filming the scene on their mobile phones. The residents of Puerto Cisnes, a coastal town near the capital, were surprised to discover the giant marine mammal wandering around but maintained their distance, as the exhausted animal beached itself on a curbside.
However, thanks to a group of police, navy officers and concerned locals, it was safely guided back to the water and people were seen cheering and applauding as it returned to its natural habitat. Dozens of rescuers from the Chilean Navy grabbed large black tarpaulins as they attempted to block the seal’s path and guided it back to the sea.
Watch the video here:
“I’d never seen one so close up – and certainly never in the middle of town. We see these animals quite far out at sea and so we don’t know much about them. You don’t know if they’re dangerous or if they could attack someone. But what we saw here was that the animal was scared,” a local woman at the scene told online newspaper Infobae.
“This is a completely natural event, from August and September there are more sightings of elephant seals [and] penguins around the region,” Nicolas Leiva, from Chile’s National Fishing and Aquaculture Service told AP. “This is something that happens every year, and we have noticed that in the area there is an increase in these sightings,” he added.
Navy officials said they are conducting increased patrols in the area to make sure the animal doesn’t return.
Southern elephant seals, which are found in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic waters, can often grow up to six-meters in length.
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