Bearded seal strays from Arctic to Florida

May 06, 2007

Experts are trying to capture a bearded seal that strayed into Florida's Intracoastal Waterway, hundreds of miles from its Arctic home.

The seal was last seen at 2 a.m. Saturday near the Hobe Sound Bridge south of Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Post reported.

The animal is the first bearded seal ever recorded in Florida waters. Seals of any kind are unusual there, and Arctic species almost unknown. The only recorded sighting of a bearded seal outside its normal range since 1978 was in Gloucester, Mass., in 2002.

Chris Dold, a veterinarian at SeaWorld Orlando, who saw video of the seal, said that it looked dehydrated. He said that the seal's neck is too thin as well.

The seal is likely to have trouble feeding in the warm waters off Florida, and the water in the Intracoastal Waterway, which is brackish rather than salt, could also cause damage.

The first sighting was late Thursday near a gated waterfront community, Loblolly Bay, and the seal spent much of Friday in the area. Residents tried to make the animal comfortable, even posting signs warning against slamming doors because the noise appeared to scare the seal.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

Related Stories

Scientists say polar bears won't thrive on land food

Apr 01, 2015

A group of researchers say polar bears forced off melting sea ice will not find enough food to replace their current diet of fat-laden marine mammals such as seals, a conclusion that contradicts studies indicating ...

Oil drilling banned in Arctic area that attracts walrus

Feb 11, 2015

A plateau on the Arctic Ocean floor, where thousands of Pacific walrus gather to feed and raise pups, has received new protections from the Obama administration that recognize it as a biological hot spot ...

Recommended for you

Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

17 hours ago

Many animals feed on seeds, acorns or nuts. The common feature of these are that they have shells and there is no direct way to know what's inside. How do the animals know how much and what quality of food ...

Q&A: Why are antibiotics used in livestock?

May 22, 2015

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is the latest company to ask its suppliers to curb the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Here's a rundown of what's driving the decision: ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.