Launceston seal spends morning at family's front door

Peering through Richard Holt's bedroom window on Monday morning was a 150-kilogram fur seal.

After spending Sunday at the Churchill Park Sport Complex the seal wandered up the footpath, under a front wire fence and onto Mr Holt's front porch.

Named Jeff by the Holt family, the seal spent several hours in a slumber while Department of Primary Industries, Parks and Wildlife officers came to trap him. 

About 8am, Mr Holt and his wife Michelle noticed Tasmania Police officers wandering up their driveway. 

He recalled: "They came up to the front door, because at this stage it was still underneath our bedroom window, and they said; do you know you’ve got a seal on your verandah?” 

"I thought they were joking.

"It was just bizarre."

Minutes earlier Tasmania Police and motorists watched as the seal crossed the road and onto the Vermont Road property. 

Curious with the new surroundings, the seal waddled onto the front verandah and explored. 

"He was wandering up and down past each window and he was looking through every window,” Mr Holt said.  

After confirming the verandah was a safe place for a rest, the seal laid down and went to sleep.

It was not until the net was thrown around its huge body several hours later that Jeff showed any signs of sudden movement.

It was a textbook relocation for biologist Sam Thalmann and wildlife ranger Adam Scurrah, who bundled the seal into a trailer.

Jeff was weighed, microchipped and taken to the North-West Coast where he would be released into a colony in the Bass Strait.

How the seal came to rest undetected on the deck is incredible.

Despite the seal's huge weight, slapping flippers and loud grunting, Mr Holt said nobody – including the family's two dogs – heard a thing in the night. 

"The only thing that I think picked up on it was the cat and that was probably the smell," he said. 

Amazingly, it was not the family's first seal encounter.

On Boxing Day last year 'Lou-Seal' went on a rampage and damaged a car in their old Newstead street.

Mr Holt said it was an exhilarating experience to have the seal at his front door. 

“I did wonder if I’d have to feed him breakfast,” Mr Holt joked.

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