Sunbathing seal blocks Tasmania highway

The seal was taken to the Tamar River.

By Ben Hooper
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LAUNCESTON, Australia, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Authorities on the Australian island of Tasmania said highway traffic came to a standstill when a wandering seal picked the road as his sunbathing spot.

Police diverted traffic Thursday from the East Tamar Highway in Launceston while waiting for Parks and Wildlife officers to arrive and deal with the seal.


The Parks and Wildlife Service said the seal was not injured, despite earlier reports to the contrary.

Wildlife officers took the seal to the Tamar River, a popular location for seal rookeries. They said the seal went back into the water with some encouragement from officers.

Police Inspector Michael Johnstone told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said it is not unheard of for traffic to be interrupted by a wandering seal.

"It's happened before, it's not uncommon for seals to come up the river at this time of the year and we have had them out on the roadway before," he said. "I think the last one was in Patterson Street ... it's a fair way from the water."


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