Baby seal rescued after being found wandering the streets of Long Island

“Some of our officers came in and found a harbor seal pup on the roadway,” said a Facebook post from the City of Southampton Police Department said.

Residents called police after the seal was seen wandering in a Long Island parking lot, Police Sergeant Jim Cavanagh told CNN. The seal headed for the entrance of a nearby hotel before being contained in the roundabout, Cavanagh said.

“What we think happened was that the seal went up the Potomac River, probably behind a large school of alewife,” Cavanagh said. “The seal probably got out of the river and ended up in a park. There it probably turned around and then walked 500 to 700 feet around the roundabout.”

The New York Marine Resource Center sent a team to help recover the baby seal and he was brought to a rehabilitation center in Riverhead, rescue center program director Maxine Montello told CNN.

“The animal is in good condition,” Montello said. “We just think he strayed a bit too far from the beach. Hopefully we can get him back to the beach as soon as possible.”

Montello said cases like this are rare but not unprecedented. A seal was recently found under someone’s car and another was found in a Staten Island backyard several years ago, she said.

Harbor seals are usually seen resting on the rocks and beaches along the coast and spend their time searching for fish, shells and crustaceans, according to the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Montello noted that we are entering “seal season,” when seals and humans are using Long Island’s beaches at the same time, and calls to the rescue hotline are increasing.

Seals are federally protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and experts say people should keep a minimum distance 150 feet from animals.

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