Water is a seal's natural habitat but for Humphrey the wood sculpture, water is his nemesis.
Any day now, Humphrey will be taken away from his home at Katikati's The Landing and retire from celebrity life to a lovely backyard to see out his days.
The massive elephant seal carving is waterlogged and beyond repair, says Katikati Open Air Art (KOAA) president Steve Graveson. He's undergone many patch-up jobs and maintenance but water is slowly rotting Humphrey.
''His current condition has become too hard to maintain,'' Steve says.
Humphrey was a real deal seal who first visited Katikati in 1985, swimming up the Uretara River around Christmas time, much to the delight of locals.
He was a regular visitor to Katikati, Waihi Beach, Bowentown, Kauri Point, Tuapiro and the Uretara Stream between 1985 and 1989.
The first sighting is believed to be in March 1984 when an elephant seal was seen at Mayor Island. He spent Christmas the next year in the area, first seen up the Uretara Stream and then at Tuapiro.
In early 1987 he was near Bowentown and in September 1989 he was seen among the mangroves in the Tuapiro stream. There is talk that he was less inclined to hang around his own sort and was obsessed with a cow for a time.
He would come and go from the local area for a number of years and his last recorded visit was in October 1989.
As part of the 1996 Muraltown Magic Festival, KOAA as able to get Katikati chainsaw sculptor Neville Warner to fashion a recreation of Humphrey from a huge macrocarpa stump.
The process from start to completion took a good part of a year to complete and was finished with electric tools.
Humphrey was dedicated on the spot he has presided over for the last 25 years at The Landing from November 1997.
The spot was chosen because it was the location where many locals and visitors could see Humphrey up close and be amazed at his size.
The sculpture underwent a repaint in 2019, bringing colour to his previously natural wood tone.
As Humphrey the elephant seal did on numerous occasions, he will end his stay and swim off to find a new location to rest at and enjoy.
''So the time has now come for the Humphrey sculpture to move on to new pastures.
''But don't worry as the original Humphrey did, he will be back sometime in the future, as KOAA is currently working a new version of Humphrey, a version that will continue his connection to the Uretara River and the people of Katikati.''