A stranded seal was not impressed at getting police protection - she chased officers around their patrol car on a farm in Waikato at the weekend.
The adult female seal was discovered in a dried-up ditch off Horrell Road near Morrinsville, dozens of kilometres inland.
The police corralled the mammal until Department of Conservation staff arrived and took her to Coromandel, where she was released at Tapu last night.
It was thought she had made her way from the Firth of Thames down the Piako or Waihou Rivers, and then along drains in heavy rain, some time ago.
Sergeant Vic Sneddon said while the seal was lost, she still had plenty of life left in her.
She was last seen swimming in the general direction of Waiheke Island.