The world-famous in Whakatāne elephant seal, Momoa, has reappeared after disappearing for more than a week.
The two-and-a-half tonne beast had been vacationing at local beaches and in the Whakatāne River during the Christmas/New Year period but had not been seen since January 3, disappointing people who did not have the opportunity to see him while he was here.
But 9-year-old Jack Barrett, from Whakatāne, was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the seal earlier today when he and his mother, Mawera Karetai, decided to check one last time.
"We have been trying for a while and never got the timing right.
"I am not sure why we looked today, there were no crowds, and no one had seen him. Just our lucky day. Jack was so pleased."
Karetai said her son had a great love for the marine world handed down from his father, who is an observer for the Ministry of Fisheries.
The juvenile male seal was first photographed at Coastlands beach just before Christmas but has spent most of its time in and around the Whakatāne River.
Over the course of the next few weeks, crowds drew to watch the seal laze in the sun and get up to mischief.
He once took a shine to a ute owned by Whakatāne Coastguard president Jim Williamson.
Department of Conservation biodiversity senior ranger Andrew Glaser told the Rotorua Daily Post last week it was not hard to see that two-and-a-half tonne of playfulness could be dangerous.
"He was definitely quite a character. I watched him tugging on a rope in the harbour and also playing with a buoy, he was having a great time."