A baby fur-seal has wriggled through the cat door of a home, checked out the kitchen and then made itself at home on the couch, all in front of the stunned homeowner.
PHOTOS: Seal pup wanders into home
Annette Swoffer lives on a busy road a few hundred metres from Tauranga Harbour on the north-western corner of the Bay of Plenty.
The closed cat door and stairs proved no barrier for the determined mammal, which made its way inside on Sunday evening.
"It was a very bizarre experience," Ms Swoffer told NZ Newswire.
The seal sniffed around the kitchen, ignored her dog and cats and was on the couch for up to 45 minutes before a Department of Conservation (DOC) ranger arrived to pick it up.
Ms Swoffer said the seal struggled to get through the cat door but had no problem getting up the stairs and on to the couch in the lounge room.
She has no idea why it chose her house and couch.
"I am scratching my head as to how on earth it made it through the closed cat door. Maybe it watched the cats go through. It was a clever little seal pup."
She said she was very tempted to touch the "beautiful, shiny animal" but knew seals are wild animals and their bites could contain any number of harmful bacteria.
Seals in the wild have a very strong smell but Ms Swoffer said the pup did not smell at all and left no odour on the couch.
DOC was already looking for the seal after earlier reports of it hopping along Ms Swoffer's street.
The pup was eventually coaxed into a net and then released into the Tauranga Harbour.