Wandering Seal Pup Walks Into New Zealand Home
12/14/2011 AT 09:00 AM EST
A baby seal made himself right at home Sunday when he slipped inside Annette Swoffer's Tauranga, New Zealand, house through a cat door, into her kitchen, then plopped on her couch for a snooze.
"I was in my office and I heard an awful racket down below," Swoffer told the New Zealand Herald News. "I thought the cats have brought a rabbit or something in so I went down and had a look – and there's a seal in my kitchen."
The small and cute creature, who Swoffer described as "very friendly," next walked out of the kitchen past her dog and cats, and into the living room, where he hopped on the couch to get more comfortable.
"I thought 'I'm hallucinating, this is just wrong,'" she said. "Then it looks at me with those huge brown eyes. It was so cute, but I didn't touch it because you don't with wild animals."
Instead, she called the SPCA. They reached out to Tauranga's Department of Conservation, which just happened to be looking for a wayward seal that had been scaring elderly residents earlier in the day, according to the Herald News.
No wonder the young seal needed some couch time: Apparently, it had traveled from the Welcome Bay waterfront, through a residential area, across a road, up a driveway, through Swoffer's cat door – and even up some stairs to the kitchen!
The plucky little pup was sent back to where he came from: Montaunau Island, where seals are believed to be breeding about seven miles offshore.
"Obviously it's a bit unusual to get a seal in somebody's house, but he's not too far from his normal habitat," DOC community relations manager Katrina Knill tells PEOPLE, adding that seals are wild animals that can inflict serious injuries. "It got released back into the harbor, so hopefully it's swimming around, doing what seals do."