Residents called police after the seal was seen wandering through a Long Island parking lot, police Sergeant Jim Cavanagh told CNN. The seal made its way toward the entrance of a nearby hotel before it was contained in the traffic circle, Cavanagh said.
“What we believe happened is that the seal swam up the Potomac River, probably behind a big school of alewife fish,” Cavanagh explained. “The seal probably climbed up out of the river ending up in a park. There, it probably just got turned around and then traveled somewhere between 500 and 700 feet into the traffic circle.”
The New York Marine Resource Center felt a team to help retrieve the baby seal and it 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 wandered a little too far from the beach. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him back to the beach as soon as possible.”
Montello said cases like this are uncommon but not unprecedented. A seal was recently found underneath someone’s car and another was found in a Staten Island backyard several years ago, she said.
Montello noted we are entering “seal season,” when seals and humans are using Long Island beaches at the same time, and calls to the rescue hotline increase.