Seal swam from Rhode Island to South Hadley

Hampden County

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – A harbor seal has set up a base-camp on the Connecticut River in South Hadley.

These are the same species you’d find in Long Island Sound and there are countless harbor seals on Cape Cod. It is likely he’s been following his favorite food up the river.

Scott Duperault told 22News, “It’s pretty cool seeing that that’s a 60-70-mile run for a seal to come up the river.”

John Coughlin said, “So then I just get down here and all of a sudden I’m standing here the next thing I knew he comes right up and makes himself at home.”

This isn’t the first time a seal has been spotted in this area in 1999 a seal that was released off the coast of Cape Cod swam up the Connecticut River and found its way to South Hadley.

The New England Aquarium told 22News this is a one-year-old harbor seal that was rescued in Falmouth, Maine and then rehabbed at the Mystic Aquarium. He was released in Charlestown Rhode Island with a satellite tag In January.

The New England Aquarium reminds you to observe him from at least 150-feet away, which is federal law and definitely don’t feed him. Human food makes seals sick.

Boaters need to be vigilant.

Make sure someone is always on the lookout for the seal. Seals normally dive straight down to get away from boats but the river is too shallow, and they might not be able to get away.

A rescue team from the Aquarium is in the area to help the seal. 

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