(NBC News)—It took a team effort to help a stranded elephant seal find its way back to the sea.
The animal was seen lumbering through a residential neighborhood in Chile.
Elephant seals rarely cross paths with humans, but this one did, generating confusion among neighbors.
A bunch of them figured out what to do, and banded together to corner the animal with black plastic. Then they used the plastic sheets to help guide the seal to the water.
Police and Navy personnel helped in the successful operation, which resulted in a nighttime splashdown.
Environmental officials said various seals have been seen entering the town and then returning to the beach. They have noticed an increase in these sightings in the area at this time of year.
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