Southampton Town Police Department was called to help a lost traveller on Sunday after a baby seal was spotted scooting across the road.
A Facebook post from the police department said: “Some of our officers responded and found a baby harbor seal in the roadway,”
The police were called after residents spotted the little seal shuffling through a Long Island car park, it then made its way over to the entrance of a hotel close by before it was rescued in the traffic circle Sergeant Jim Cavanagh told CNN.
Cavanagh tried to make sense of the situation saying: “What we believe happened is that the seal swam up the Potomac River, probably behind a big school of alewife fish. The seal probably climbed up out of the river ending up in a park. There, it probably just got turned around and then traveled somewhere between 500 and 700 feet into the traffic circle.”
A team from the New York Marine Resource Center came out to collect the seal and then took it to a rehabilitation centre in Riverhead.
“The animal is in good condition, we just think he wandered a little too far from the beach. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him back to the beach as soon as possible.” said Maxine Montello, Program Director at the rescue centre.
Maxine said while occurrences like this are uncommon they do happen, recently a seal was found under someone’s car and another in a backyard in Staten Island a few years ago.
Harbour seals normally spend their time relaxing on the rocks and beaches by the coast looking for fish, crustaceans, and shellfish.
They are also federally protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and experts say the public should admire them from at least 150 feet away.