The West

The two-tonne seal that caused traffic jams at a Perth beach as locals flocked to see him has returned to the ocean.

The teenaged southern elephant seal - dubbed Steven Sealberg by locals - had made Sorrento beach his home since Wednesday but was nowhere to be seen on Sunday morning.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife said he left at about 11pm (WST) on Saturday night.

Senior officer Rick Dawson said the seal might haul out at other metropolitan beaches in coming days.

Traffic officers handed out dozens of fines to beachgoers who parked on median strips in the crush to see the seal, which was resting on the beach after a long hunt in deep waters.

One local tweeted: "The Sorrento Seal left because even he got sick of all the talk about the Sorrento Seal."

"Traffic is intense. There's no possible way to reach the Sorrento Seal. I fear I will never complete this quest," another tweet read.

Male elephant seals mainly forage on the Antarctic continental shelf but cruise the whole Southern Ocean and can swim enormous distances.

Parks and Wildlife last year received reports of four southern elephant seals coming ashore on the south-coast and one young male on Carnac Island off Perth.

A large male that once hauled out in the Exmouth area remained there for five years.


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