Surreal, to say the least! In Chile, an elephant seal stormed into a residential part of the small Patagonian town of Puerto Cisnes, in southern Chile. Lost in the middle of a street and blocking traffic, the elephant seal was rescued by locals, as well as the police and the Chilean Navy, and taken back to its natural habitat.
The police and the army were called in
Although Chile still has a curfew in place to stop the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, many residents of the town broke the rules to help rescue the seal after it got lost in the middle of a residential area. Several dozen people went out to assist the elephant seal, which traveled about ten blocks before it was taken care of.
As you can see in the video at the top of the article, a group of locals, police, and navy officers used tarpaulin to block the seal from going further inland and guide it back through the streets towards the ocean. The rescue mission lasted several hours and ended under the relieved applause of locals.
A 'natural' occurrence
Nicolas Leiva, from Chile's National Fishing and Aquaculture Service told the Associated Press:
This is a completely natural event, from August and September there are more sightings of elephant seals and penguins around the region.
However, animals that venture into town usually find their way back on their own.