New Zealand fur seal takes up residence at new Walpole Town Jetty
The juvenile seal was first reported by a member of the public on Thursday, 10 September - less than a week after the opening of the $900,000 Walpole Town Jetty.
Local authorities were initially concerned for the wellbeing of the slightly underweight seal, but a health assessment has given it the all clear.
Because seals are territorial in nature, the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) has erected a makeshift sign advising people to keep a respectful distance.
They believe the seal has found a place to temporarily rest up.
"I would suggest it particularly likes the concrete part [of the jetty], it's probably got a bit of warmth in it," senior ranger Jackie Manning said.
"It probably resembles a rock in the sea."
Whilst seals are a rare sight on public infrastructure, the south coast of Western Australia is within their normal range. It is not uncommon for the mammals to be sighted in the Walpole-Nornalup inlet.
Basking in the sun, hissing at the vet
DPAW cautions the public not to be fooled by a docile appearance.
"Although those seals can look very nice and cute and cuddly, they can actually become quite aggressive if you approach them," said Ms Manning, speaking to Donna Dabala on ABC Great Southern Mornings.
"When people were down there taking photographs, the seal was all fine, rolling around and scratching itself.
"But when the person who assessed the seal's health got a bit closer, it actually did hiss and have a bit of a lunge at him, so we're just getting people to keep their distance."
Whilst the jetty has not been closed to boats, a week of overcast weather has resulted in limited boating activity.
Ms Manning believes the seal will move on once activities increase, but DPAW will continue to monitor the surprise tenant.