An intrepid seal found himself far from his usual home waters, washed up on the dashboard of a car in Scotland.
The seal pup, named Smartie by its rescuers, was first spotted by workers at the Cairnryan ferry port in southwest Scotland earlier this month. The ferry port, located on the edge of Loch Ryan, connects Scotland to Northern Ireland.
The 6-week-old pup reportedly made its way into the port through a man-made embankment after weather produced "strong winds and stormy seas," an animal rescue official told the BBC.
When the pup refused to go back into the water, ferry officials called the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to help. Afraid that Smartie would be hurt by passengers in the bustling terminal, a worker put the animal in the trunk of his car while they waited for rescue officials to arrive, the BBC reports.
The seal, however, managed to push down one of the car's rear seats and slide up to the dashboard, thereby earning the nickname Smartie.
"He is clearly a very smart seal as he ended up watching the storm out the windscreen of the car from his warm, dry spot on the dash," Alistair Hill of the SPCA told the BBC.
The seal, weak and dehydrated, but otherwise unharmed, was taken to the SPCA's National Wildlife Rescue Center. Officials say they plan to return him to the wild once he regains his strength.
- Nature & Environment