Watch the Marine Mammal Stranding Center Relocate a Beached Seal
Think of this video as a day in the life of a harbor seal. The seal was rescued from a crowded South Jersey beach, full of people and their dogs, taken in by the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and examined overnight, then released at a quieter location to return to its natural habitat.
The video chronicles the day for the harbor seal and, in the process, passes along some excellent information for kids and adults about the life of a harbor seal and the way you should and shouldn't interact if you ever encounter one on a South Jersey beach.
Brigantine's Marine Mammal Stranding Center, has a national reputation for their work responding to marine mammals and sea turtles in distress along all of New Jersey's waterways and to the rehabilitation of these animals for release back into the wild.
In this video, Stranding Center technician Mackenzie and MMSS intern Paige move the beached seal out of harm's way from curious beachgoers and their dogs for observation at the Stranding Center. Following an overnight observation, they determine that she is healthy and ready to be released.
After painting a number on the seal's head to track her if she returns to their attention, the pair transport the seal to a quiet spot on the beach where they release her back into the ocean. Cool stuff.
In the span of a four-minute video, I learned more than I ever knew about harbor seals and how important it is to give them space if we see one on the beach.
Harbor seals are federally-protected animals, and you should give them at least 150 feet of space, and keep your dogs leashed. The Stranding Center points out that seals pack a very powerful bite, and can transmit diseases to both humans and dogs.
And, if you are thinking about posting a seal-selfie on Facebook - think again. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center asks that you don't post their location on social media, as it draws crowds and creates more stress for the seals.