A snoozing kekeno (NZ fur seal) has joined Remuera’s school holidays crowd in taking a break near the waterfront just weeks after a rogue seal wandered through Papakura before being rounded up by police.
The kekeno chose a comfy patch of grass in the Portland Rd Reserve to park its weary bones after making his way up river from Hobson Bay.
Its cute face soon caught the attention of dog walkers and school holidays families - but rather than flipping out, local residents have been quietly sneaking photos and giving the sea lion room to chill, local Logan said.
“I’ve lived here all my life but I’ve never seen one there like that before,” Logan said.
“It’s pretty cool.”
Logan said the seal is “completely unbothered”.
“The people dogs and everything are fine, letting it be and he’s just having a nice snooze.”
Logan said Auckland Council had recently taken away the rubbish and cleared the river in the Portland Rd Reserve near Shore Rd on the edge of Hobson Bay.
“So I assume that’s how it got there,” he said about the seal.
It comes after police and Department of Conservation staff wrangled a seal that went up the garden path - and across the street on June 30, causing a disturbance by loitering in an Auckland suburb.
Officers had to cordon off the driveway and garden of a property after the wayward seal stopped in for a rest, having made its way through Papakura.
Then around 5.30pm the seal’s big day out came to an end.
Department of Conservation staff and Auckland Zoo bundled him into a truck and drove him away to be checked over by a veterinarian.
Senior Sergeant Andrew Parkinson said at the time the seal was first spotted in a KFC carpark on Great South Rd and got plenty of attention as it made its way down the road on Friday morning.
Officers were keeping an eye on the animal, which had come up from a nearby coastal inlet.
“He looks at you, but - he is a big animal,” Parkinson said.
“So from my perspective I’m just keeping in mind that he is from the wild and ... although he does look cute and cuddly, I don’t know if I’d get too close to him.”
Resident Preity Nabi said she saw the seal knocking its head on her neighbour’s door, trying to get in.
DoC staff and the Auckland Zoo said they would sedate the animal for relocation back to its own habitat.
It was not uncommon to see seals at Pāhurehure Inlet, Nabi said. And another neighbour said a few years ago a seal had also wandered about on some of the same streets.
A Twitter account set up during an earlier visit by a seal to Papakura has also sprung back into life, dropping a tweet: “Kia ora koutou e te whānau - good to be back!”