Seal pup finds refuge from storm on dashboard of a car

A seal pup attempting to find refuge from a storm in Stranraer, Scotland, came to rest in the most unusual of places: the dashboard of a car.

Scotland’s Animal Welfare Charity gave a full accounting of how this came to be in a report it released Monday.

During stormy weather with choppy seas and winds of up to 60 mph, the seal pup, about 6 weeks old, somehow climbed a steep, manmade banking into a parking garage near the Cairnryan ferry terminal.

It was spotted in the busy garage on Thursday night, Jan.17. Despite efforts to coax the seal pup back into the water, it refused. On Friday morning, it was still there, so animal welfare was called in.

In the meantime, a parking garage worker picked up the seal and put it in the trunk of his car to keep it out of harm’s way. But the seal escaped the trunk, pushing down one of the rear seats and wriggling up onto the dashboard.

“He is clearly a very smart seal as he ended up watching the storm out of the [windshield] of the car from his warm, dry spot on the dash,” animal rescue officer Alistair Hill said in the Scottish SPCA, Animal Welfare Charity report.

The seal–named Smartie, of course–was weak and dehydrated. It is currently recovering at the National Wildlife Rescue Center, and will be set free in about a month.

Photo used by permission from Scottish SPCA.