Wandering Amagansett Seal Pup Returned to Wild
The gray seal pup found wandering on Bendigo Road in Amagansett late Tuesday afternoon was released back into the wild on Friday.
According to a press release from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, the pup, who was only a little over a month old, "is completely weaned from its mother." That is normal for the species, Halichoerus grypus, meaning hooked-nosed sea pig in Latin, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's web site. The animals live up to 35 years in the wild.
Rescuers at the foundation named the pup Fudge Brownie. They released him into Shinnecock Bay around noon on Friday.
The animal was spotted by drivers on Bendigo Road late Tuesday afternoon. It had apparently come up a 150-yard driveway on a property that faces Gardiner's Bay. Three men, Sgt. Dan Roman of the East Hampton Town police, Dell Cullum, a local wildlife expert, and Bud Pitt, one of the drivers who had come upon the seal, kept it safe on the side of the road as the sun set until the foundation's rescue unit arrived. "The animal unfortunately traveled too far from the water line and was unable to redirect itself," according to a press release from the foundation.
Normally, such animals can be guided back to the water without being touched. With night having fallen and water a good distance away, the decision was made over the phone by Maxine Montello, rescue supervisor, to bring the pup to the foundation, and check it over, before releasing it back into the wild. "The animal is very alert and active," the press release says, and is in good health.
The marine mammals are a protected species, and the foundation's advice for those who spot seals in the usual places, such as on rocks on the beach, or in the sand, is to stay 50 yards away from them. That was not an option on Bendigo Road Tuesday evening.