Mayhem as giant seal goes on town rampage and storms petrol station

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    A sleepy holiday town was thrown into mayhem after an enormous elephant seal made its way through the centre.

    The seal emerged from the waves and surprised tourists in Point Lonsdale, around an hour and a half south of Melbourne.

    Authorities arrived at the scene and accompanied the seal as it made its way across roads into town.

    READ MORE: Miracle castaway tells of 'rough' 24 days adrift at sea living on ketchup

    Traffic had to be stopped to allow the pinniped, believed to be known locally as Henry, to cross the road safely.

    "Henry" then proceeded to break into the only petrol station in the town, where it allegedly tried to smash another window.

    Experts have claimed that this may have been because it became confused by its reflection, mistaking it for another seal.

    Attending officers instructed members of the public to remain at least 30 metres away from the seal, and at least 50 metres if they had a dog with them.

    Eventually, authorities were able to persuade Henry to return to the sea by getting them to lunge at an officer who was slowly backing towards the water.

    Crowds gathered on the beach as Henry once more took to the waves, leaving the town behind.

    Elephant seals are the largest pinnipeds, a classification covering seals and walruses, and get their name from the distinctive trunk-like nose that males possess.

    They are truly massive, with larger males weighing up to 5,000kg and growing as long as 6 metres.

    They are also among the deepest diving mammals, with one being recorded at a depth of 2,388 metres, though the average depth that they dive to seek out prey is around 300 to 600 metres.

    The seals are able to do this in part due to a higher volume of blood relative to their body size and more red blood cell, this allows them to retain more oxygen in their bodies for these deep dives.

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