Sometimes, you visit a place, and even if it isn’t what you expected or what you thought it would be, it is where you belong. That’s the story of Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas. While most elephant seals live in the ocean, Elizabeth swam in the waters of the Avon River through the middle of Christchurch, New Zealand. Everything was going well and her presence was welcomed until one day she hauled herself up out of the river and stretched out across the two-lane road, right in the middle of traffic.
In fear for her safety, it was decided that it would be better for Elizabeth to live with other elephant seals in the ocean. She was relocated to the ocean and a nearby elephant seal colony, but that wasn’t where she wanted to be, so she swam home, back up the Avon River to Christchurch. The next time she was towed to a seal colony far away from the city, but back she came. The third time they towed her hundreds of miles away, but again she found her way back. She knew where home was, silly people. This time, they changed the road and left Elizabeth in the city, which is “exactly where she belonged.”
Elizabeth lived in the Avon river from the late 1970s until her death in 1985. There’s lots to see and do in Christchurch, such as the open range OranaWildlife center or the International Antarctic Centre. Who knows, you may even see an elephant seal along one of the beaches!
If you’d like to add Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas to your child’s library, click here: Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas