Seal deemed too friendly heading to Detroit This land-loving seal has come ashore repeatedly in New York and New Jersey since March (AP photos)
Seal deemed too friendly heading to Detroit
Lexile

A seal that enjoyed New Jersey beaches is headed for Detroit. It had become a little too friendly with people.

Since March, the 100-pound female gray seal had stopped on Long Island, New York, and New Jersey beaches. Each time, animal rescue groups shooed it back into the water. Or they treated it for illness or injury. But the seal kept coming back.

When people started petting the seal on a beach in Longport, New Jersey, on Sept. 5, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center removed it. The seal had become too used to being around humans.

"We would see it ... swimming among the bathers, not bothering anybody, but clearly too used to humans being around," said Bob Schoelkopf. He is director of the stranding center.  "In Longport, it came ashore and kids went up and started petting it. That's what sealed its fate."

The animal's odyssey began on March 9. That's when the young seal was first found with a swollen flipper. It was picked up by officials. Three months later, it was healthy. It was released on June 14.

On July 10, state animal officials received a call about a seal on the beach. It had a fishing hook lodged in its mouth. A technician removed the hook. The seal went back into the water.

But two days later, the seal was back ashore again. The stranding center picked it up. The animal had a cough and it was given antibiotics. The seal was released at Sandy Hook on Aug. 18. The animal had gained 21 pounds at the rescue center.

After that, the stranding center received many reports of a seal swimming near bathers, Schoelkopf said. Some had fed it.

It was decided that the seal had become too used to humans. For its safety, the seal could never return to the ocean. So federal wildlife officials were called. They found a home for it at the Detroit Zoo.

The zoo will have a contest to name it.

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COMMENTS (5)
  • Wl81800darkgray
    11/21/2014 - 08:42 a.m.

    wish I had a pet like that. when I grow up I'm getting a wolf for a pet. I hope he'll be loyal. a loyal pet is the beast you can get.

  • jordancST
    11/21/2014 - 09:55 a.m.

    I think it is a little bit sad that the seal has to go back to the zoo. It is also good though because he may get hurt being around so many people. What do you think they should have done with the seal?

  • John0724-YYCA
    1/29/2015 - 07:09 p.m.

    I don't think it is right to have the seal come back and forth to the ocean because you never know when that seal can bring his whole pack to the beach ad invade the beach which could lead into a major problem. This thing is also good that they brought that seal to the zoo because if itt kept and gong here to there then it could be a problem.

  • TomI-Saw
    2/19/2015 - 01:07 p.m.

    Very interesting, I would like to pet it and if I was there I would name it snowball. Also, this article is great.

  • TomI-Saw
    2/19/2015 - 01:09 p.m.

    Very interesting i would like to pet it and if I was there I would name it snowball.Also this article is a great one it is about a seal that is too attached to people.

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