What to do if you see a stranded seal at the Jersey Shore
The Jersey Shore has been seeing its share of seals and seal pups in the past month. Unfortunately, some of the young show up with injuries.
Bob Schoelkopf of The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine says they have 15 stranded seal pups in the center right now.
"This is a time of the year that the gray seal population gives birth in February and March, and these little guys are coming down here. They are venturing south, looking for warmer weather and more food to eat."
Schoelkopf says some are injured after close encounters with sharks or boats.
"We have one gray seal that was attacked by a great white shark, tried to eat it, and luckily got away. And then we have a little harbor seal that got a little too close to someone's outboard motor propeller and it severed one of its rear flippers."
Schoelkopf says the harbor seal with the amputated flipper may not be able to go back because it may not have the ability to chase after live food.
"So we have to wait and see how the sutures hold and how it heals up to see if it is in fact strong enough to catch its own food. Otherwise, it would have to go to an aquarium or a zoo."
He advises beachgoers who see a seal or a pup to phone it in to 609-266-0538. But stay away — they do bite!
"They are not cute and cuddly and they will bite. We advise people to keep their distance. Call us if you see a seal, and we will take it from there."
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5
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