Seal Takes on the Job of a Babysitter


A young seal needed a change in setting when it ditched the waves for a residential home with a family of four. There were reports of a seal breaking into a New Zealand home for a few hours while the parents were out and the kids were sleeping upstairs.

Phil and Jenn Ross had an uncommon discovery when a seal slipped into their home, which is located approximately 150 meters from the shore. Phil Ross is a marine biologist and it could have been a work-from-home day had he been present at the time.

“The big joke is that this is really the only family emergency where it would be useful to have a marine biologist in the house. I really missed my time to shine,” he said.

His wife had left for the gym that morning. When recalling the incident, she said: “As she got in the car, something barked from underneath and shuffled away. She thought it was someone’s dog… and didn’t really think too much of it.”

An hour later, when she returned home, she realized that it wasn’t a dog. There was a seal that made itself comfortable as the fifth family member.

Amused by the visitor, she woke up her two children, Noah and Ari, to come to greet the mammal. Jenn said: “They thought it was cool and pretty exciting but were totally oblivious to the fact that… not many of their mates would have seals come to visit them in their houses.”

Phil attempted to make sense of the strange occurrence with the seal and their pet cat Coco. He said: “The cat would have gone to defend its territory and obviously the seal wasn’t as intimidated as some dogs are so Coco must have bolted around the side of the house, into the catflap and the seal must have followed her.”

Coco was not a fan of the seal but the wife and children had a good time.

After some quality family time, Jenn gently guided the seal out the front door and into the garden. A Department of Conservation ranger showed up at the residence to take the seal back to the sea.

The family nicknamed the seal “Oscar” and they enjoyed its company while it lasted. The social sea creature will be welcome with open arms by the family should it make a reappearance. They could use an unpaid babysitter.


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