Bearded seal strays from Arctic to Florida

May 6, 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: Eavesdropping on Bering Strait marine mammals

Related Stories

Eavesdropping on Bering Strait marine mammals

November 2, 2015

Climate change hasn't been kind to the Arctic Circle, as evidenced by the decrease of seasonal ice in the area and the encroachment of temperate species. One way to monitor impacts to the ecosystem is by observing the changes ...

Feds to decide on listing ice seals as threatened

September 28, 2009

(AP) -- A federal agency must decide within three weeks whether spotted seals, which depend on sea ice off Alaska's coast, should be listed as a threatened or endangered species.

Recommended for you

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...


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.