A fur seal's sunbathing mission in the backyard of a Massey property was cut short earlier this afternoon.

The Department of Conservation was called to a Huruhuru Rd residence to relocate the seal.

It is common for seals to follow their noses and get stuck into "places we think to be a little unusual", a DoC spokesperson said.

"They're quite exploratory creatures, they're a little bit nosey and like to check things out."

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It is believed the seal found its way to the property via the nearby Henderson Creek.

"Its common for them to be found a reasonable distance inland, anywhere up to 15km.

"We always tell people to stay around 20m away from a seal and keep dogs and things away from them.

"People should not try to move them themselves. It's a good idea for people to give us a call if they think they [seals] are in danger."

DoC staff captured the seal in about 10 minutes.

SEALS: Five things you need to know

1. Seals belong to a group of mammals known as "pinnipeds" which have streamlined bodies and limbs modified into flippers.

2. Pinnipeds are divided into three families: walruses, true seals and eared seals. True seals do not have external ears, cannot turn their hind flippers forward (therefore can not walk on them), and have fur on both surfaces of their flippers.

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3. A large group of seals during breeding is called a harem.

4. Adult males are called bulls and females are called cows, while a young seal is a pup. Immature males are sometimes called SAMs (sub-adult males) or bachelors.

5. All seals, whales and dolphins are protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978.