MELBURNIANS are not the only ones exhausted by the city's stormy weather.
A sunbaking fur seal has spent a night recuperating in Melbourne Zoo after defying a police rescue and twice parking itself on a busy seaside road yesterday.
The young male New Zealand fur seal spent a night sleeping in Melbourne zoo's pool and was still fast asleep when keepers checked on him this morning, says Melbourne Zoo vet Dr Michael Lynch.
"He looks like a very tired seal that's been battling strong seas," he said. "New Zealand fur seals are generally more relaxed than Australian fur seals, but he's not as bright as I would have hoped today." Dr Lynch said the seal looked in good condition. He hopes the seal is simply exhausted from the stormy weather and will be able to return to the wild after resting.
Police initially closed Beach Road when the seal landed itself at Middle Park just after 7am on Saturday (AEST). Senior Constable Katie Shore, Constable Greg Green and Sergeant Nitsa Tsilfidis tried to herd the seal back to sea, but had to call a Wildlife Rescue Victoria officer for help after it fled and got stuck on top of a stone wall.
They managed to get the seal back in the water just before 9am, but it returned to the road less than an hour later. Melbourne Zoo staff later arrived and captured the seal. Dr Lynch said it was possible the seal had come into calmer waters for a rest when it beached itself. It is likely the young seal had recently left its mother and was still adjusting to an independent lifestyle.