Neil the Seal has taken over TikTok. The friendly yet meddlesome elephant seal has been spotted causing a ruckus in Tasmania, an island state in Australia. Neil often has much to say, and will stop at nothing to get to the people to listen. He once blocked a woman from getting to work by parking himself in front of her car, and blocked a man from getting into his home by sunbathing in front of his door.
The elephant seal has apparently been a Tasmanian resident for several years now, but TikTok creators documenting his daily antics have pushed him to a new level of global viral fame. Neil’s howling greetings have now reached far beyond Australia.
Some neighbors help him cool off from the hot sun by hosing him down with a garden hose while he rests on front lawns.
But alas, Neil is often still quite mischievous. He was once spotted attempting to break into a local resident’s garage.
A PhD student from Tasmania shared some fun facts about elephant seals that she has learned over the course of her marine biology studies. Neil is expected to grow significantly in size, as he is only three years old currently.
This footage is from June 2021 #neiltheseal #tasmania My 2023 publication “Extreme polygyny results in intersex differences in age-dependent survival of a highly dimorphic marine mammal.” is open access (anyone can read it) published in Royal Society Open Science. You can view it via a link on my portfolio website. You can also access the Guardian news article from March 2023 in my linktree. Questions welcome, Ive studied these baddies for about four years. Cheers!
One woman felt like she was reliving her “dog ate my homework” era when the friendly neighborhood trouble maker blocked her car. She was sure to document Neil’s appearance for her boss as proof that she really could not make it off the island that day.
Neil has also been spotted using a traffic cone as a pillow for one of his world famous naps.
He also tends to nibble on mail boxes and fences, occasionally breaking traffic and construction signs on the side of the road as well.
Now, locals whip out their phones to film his town wide famous wiggle whenever they spot him crossing their paths.
Neil The Seal Is Sealing The Deal
Neil now has fans from all over the world. In Australia, elephant seals are a protected species, meaning that people cannot legally touch them. However, some TikTok creators joke that Neil the Seal would make the perfect pet, and that maybe a belly rub and some treats would solve his neighborhood antics.
Others joke about the other serious environmental issues facing the rest of Australia while Tasmania only has the petty crimes of Neil the Seal to deal with.
Neil is a rare phenomenon, as he is only one of seven Elephant seal pups born in Tasmania in the last 30 years. His rarity and importance to the survival of his species is what has many disgruntled locals overlooking his flaws. Despite several run ins with local law enforcement in Dunalley, Tasmania, the seal continues to thrive in his villain era.