A GOOD Samaritan got the shock of his life when a rescued seal barged into the front of his car and started hissing and snapping.
Kind-hearted John Moncrieff and his stepson jumped out of the car fearing they were about to be attacked by the 15kg (33lb) pup.
John (43) had just rescued the creature after it was washed up injured on a beach following a recent storm on Shetland.
The two-month old female, which was discovered by John’s Jack Russell, Lottie, had suffered injuries to its flipper and had a bloody mouth.
John and stepson Damien, 22, put the seal in a washed-up fish crate and lugged their unwieldy burden more than a mile back to their car.
Following the rescue on Quendale beach on the south of the main island, John made a four-mile round trip to drop off his dog at home.
He and Damien then set off for Shetland’s nearest wildlife sanctuary – 53 miles away. The seal was “safely” in the boot area of the Ford Fiesta, covered by a blanket and apparently docile.
But after a few miles, the pair realised the seal – promptly named Lottie after her canine saviour – had escaped the box and was clambering over the back seats.
He said: “We had to fold the seats down slightly to get the box into the car.
“She was making noises a bit like a crying baby. We could hear her moving and then Damien shone his torch behind us and it was moving around.
“She was already halfway there anyway but when I braked she came right forward onto the gearstick.
“She shot onto the front seats.”
John, from Sumburgh, said: “She was hissing and snapping. She was on the handbrake so I just had to stall the car.
“We had to get out pretty quick.”
Having settled their nerves, John and Damien gingerly coaxed the seal back into the box and wedged it shut.
Lottie the seal was successfully delivered to Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary where she is said to be “sleeping herself better”.
Video of Lottie shows her rolling about in a cage and making noises described by some viewers as sounding like Chewbacca from Star Wars.
In most cases, seals rescued in such circumstances can be released back into the wild.
Despite the drama, John said: “I’m quite happy – I’d do it again.”
Watch: A recovering Lottie “sings” with her pal in the pen next door.