Rescued Seal Pup a Winter Reminder to Watch for Stranded Marine Mammals

Feb 7, 2020

This weanling gray seal stranded along Route 1A Friday morning.
Credit Rye Police

Rescuers in Rye safely moved a young seal that made its way onto Route 1A during a high tide Friday morning.

Marine mammal rescuers at the Seacoast Science Center helped get the gray seal pup out of harm’s way near Rye Harbor while local police directed traffic around him.

Rescuers say they've seen this weanling a couple times in the past few days, at beaches in Hampton. He's thought to be about six weeks old and still figuring out life away from his mother.

As of noon, the science center was still assessing the seal’s condition before deciding whether to release him.

They say he's alert, active and has been fitted with a tracking tag. Police nicknamed him "Feisty." 

Rescuers say the public should be on the lookout for stranded marine mammals at this time of year. Some, like gray seals, are present in New Hampshire year-round.

The science center says it's mostly dealt with harp seals in the past couple of months. That seal is an Arctic species that migrates south at this time of year.

Marine mammals are federally protected and residents are asked to keep their distance if they see stranded. They can call the Marine Mammal Rescue hotline at 603-997-9448.