MARINELAND, Fla. – A gray seal made its way south and was found last week in Marineland, about 20 miles south of St. Augustine, Florida wildlife officials said.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the research division of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC marine mammal biologists responded Thursday evening to a report of a stranded gray seal in Marineland.
FWC biologists worked with Georgia Aquarium staff to capture the seal and transported the seal to SeaWorld to be looked at.
FWC said it learned the seal had been recently released from rehabilitation in Virginia, but somehow found its way south. Wildlife officials said the seal's behavior did not suggest it was in distress and rescuers took him to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, gray seals are typically found across the North Atlantic in coastal areas from New York to the Baltic Sea. On land, they are found on rocky coasts, islands, sandbars, ice shelves and icebergs.
Like all marine mammals, gray seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
To report injured, distressed or dead wildlife call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) and press 7 to speak with an operator.