LISTEN: A seal has surprised staff and guests at Matamata's Hobbiton movie set after it was seen frolicking in a lake.
It's a very rare sight for the rural Waikato attraction which is set in beef and sheep farmland - not a typical place seals are found lurking.
That was until Sunday morning, when ‘Sammy the Seal’ was found swimming in The Shire’s peaceful lake.
It’s believed the young male travelled along Waitoa River, which flows off the Piako River, and into the lake which is more than 90km away from the sea.
Hobbiton Deputy chief executive Shayne Forrest says he has seen nothing like it at the movie set.
"He seems to be really enjoying his temporary home at The Shire," Forrest told Lloyd Burr Live.
"Who knows how long he will stay but he's out here living his best life."
As for what Sammy is eating, Forrest said Hobbiton Lake is full of eels.
The Department of Conservation has been notified and determined the seal was happy and healthy and would move on when it wanted to.
Listen to the full interview with Shayne Forrest above.
Magic Talk | Lloyd Burr Live, weekdays from 4pm.