What are some animals you would reasonably think to see when driving down the street? Possibly a squirrel? A raccoon? How about a massive elephant seal? Yeah, didn’t think so.
In Puerto Cisnes, Chile, however, this was a reality on Monday. The elephant seal clearly became disoriented during a visit ashore and later made its way into the ocean side city’s street.
“I was a bit startled to begin with, but because they move slowly, I calmed down and told my son to film it,” a resident named Antonia recalled.
Rescue Squads Help the Elephant Seal Return to the Water
The videos of the rare occasion show the oversized pinniped, a carnivorous aquatic mammal, flopping awkwardly down the road. Residents and Naval officers spearheaded the rescue effort by helping guide the seal back to the sea by holding up tarps.
After a long ten-block journey, and probably pretty bad road rash, the massive two-ton elephant seal makes it back to the water. Onlookers cheer with delight.
According to local news outlets, the rescue took nearly 50 people and several hours to get the seal back to the Pacific Ocean.
The rescue was a success, with Chilean Navy Sgt. José Muñoz saying thanks to “the community for the great support” the seal is now “safe and sound.”
“We’ll be carrying out constant patrols, so that [the animal] doesn’t come back and to avoid any accidents,” he also added.
There are two types of elephant seals, the Northern and Southern. While both grow to an average length of about 12 feet, the Southern elephant seal can grow to doubt the Northern’s size, with a weight of nearly 9,000 pounds. The Southern elephant seals are also the largest type of seal in the world. The animals generally only travel out of the water to rest, molt, and rear pups.
[H/T New York Post]