Four injured New Zealand fur seal pups cared for by Sea World staff on the Gold Coast have been released back into the wild after hitching a ride on an RAAF aircraft.
The seals spent months being nursed back to health at the theme park after they washed up on Queensland beaches in an unhealthy or injured state.
One had suffered a shark bite and was severely underweight.
The animals and specialist veterinary staff were flown on a routine flight by a RAAF C-27J Spartan last Wednesday to Montague Island, in northern NSW, and the seals were released on Thursday.
New Zealand fur seals are not endangered and their numbers are rising.
Sea World staff said inexperience coupled with extreme weather conditions were most likely responsible for sweeping the seals into currents up the Queensland coast.