Of all the wrong places for a lost seal to end up, West Chop on a quiet February morning might be one of the best. Thanks to Tisbury police officers on the midnight shift, one such lost seal is back in the water — despite a quick detour under a police car.
A jogger saw the wandering seal around 6:30 Thursday morning, Tisbury Lieut. Eerik Meisner said. The seal was on Main street by the West Chop Lighthouse and Coast Guard station, he said. The animal, later identified as a gray seal pup, appeared to be healthy.
The jogger called the police department and officers Jeremie Rogers and Jason Marathas “went up there to see about the seal,” Lieutenant Meisner said. The seal proceeded to crawl under the police car, he said, and the officers lured the seal out with the help of a neighbor.
The seal was put on a tarp and taken back out to the water. Lieutenant Meisner said the entire call took about 23 minutes.
While the seal was at first thought to be a harbor seal, NOAA marine mammal response coordinator Mendy Garron later identified the seal as a gray seal pup.
The seals are born with a white coat and molt two to four weeks after birth, Ms. Garron said in an email. “This little one looks like he is finishing up the molt (you can see small patches of white fur).”
Ms. Garron said NOAA appreciated the assistance by the police officers in relocating the seal.