Nelligen has a new, high profile resident - complete with flippers, fur and fangs.
An Australian fur seal bull took up residence at the Thule Road boat ramp in Nelligen about three weeks ago, and has made himself at home ever since.
Nelligen residents say the seal spends plenty of time in the water, but the boat ramp is his favourite patch of land.
“I don’t know how he got here, he must be lost,” a nearby resident said.
“He must be getting a feed in the river.”
The resident said that boat owners had tried to retrieve their vessel via the ramp recently but had been unable to do so because the seal didn’t feel like moving.
“He just comes out of the water, has a scratch and a yawn, lies there and goes to sleep,” he said.
“When people get near him, he just opens one eye, then closes it.”
The resident said that someone had tried to feed the seal sardines on Monday.
“It was no good; he didn’t take it,” he said.
Nelligen Café proprietor Rick Patman said it was thought the seal followed the cruise boat Merinda up from Batemans Bay.
“My daughter has named him Luka,” he said. “He’s a very good fisherman - he’s cleaned out our fish stocks.”
Nelligen oyster farmer Rick Christensen has reported seeing a smaller seal near the oyster leases near Nelligen.
National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Libby Shields said that the two seals were unlikely to be related in any way.
“They are fairly solitary animals,” she said.
Ms Shields said that seal numbers were on the increase and this would explain the bull’s appearance.
“They are popping up all over the place,” she said.
By law, people are required to stay at least 40 metres from a seal.
“We realise this is difficult in such a place but they can get aggressive, so we would advise people for their own safety not to get close to him, try to feed him or let their dogs get close to him,” she said.
She said that the NPWS would not relocate the seal or take any other measures.
“He looks fine so we won’t intervene.”