A seal pup is discovered sleeping on their doorstep by a family.

You never know what type of animal you’ll encounter just outside your door. Recently, one family was taken aback when an unexpected animal strayed far from home and decided to lay on their doorstep.

A family in Wellington noticed a seal pup outside their home last week, cuddling up for a warm sleep on their doorstep, according to a Facebook post from New Zealand’s Department of Conservation:

“It had been on a bit of a mission, climbing up the seawall stairs, crossing a road, hiking up a footpath, a driveway, and finally another set of stairs, before reaching its nap spot,” according to a statement from the Department of Conservation.

“It’s not every day you come home to find a seal curled up on your front porch.”

The creature is a kekeno, or New Zealand fur seal. They are not actual seals, despite their name, and are more closely related to sea lions.

It’s not unusual for juvenile seals to appear like this at this time of year: In New Zealand, “seal silly season” lasts from May to September, when young pups and older males leave their colonies.

During this time, these seals like to explore the larger world, and residents frequently see seals on streets, public areas, and even their houses.

The Department of Conservation, however, emphasizes that this is normal and that the seals should be left alone: “They might look skinny or sick, with weepy eyes and a cough, but this is normal – seals are very resilient animals,” they posted on Facebook. “Seals need rest, not rescuing.”

However, they also stated that if a seal is wounded or in danger on your property, it is preferable to contact the department. An cop arrived and transferred this drowsy porch seal to a safer spot away from dogs and traffic.

There is no photo description provided.
Department of Conservation on Facebook
What a cute tiny seal! What a surprise to see it outside your front door!

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