New York State DEC Rescues Seal Tangled in Net [PICS]
While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is known for conducting search and rescue missions for stranded hikers or those lost in the wild, not all their rescues involve humans. Some rescued subjects may have four legs rather than two. Or, in this case, flippers.
Seals in New York
According to the DEC, seals are generally found in New York from late fall until late spring, with the highest highest amounts occurring around the month of April. Seals leave the water (haul) and rest on beaches or rocks to regulate their body temperature. They also spend time out of water to socialize, give birth, and molt, says experts.
Hauling out in groups also helps seals avoid predators, according to the NY DEC.
The most common species of seal found off the coast of New York are harbor, gray, and harp.
New York DEC Rescues Seal
The DEC says that two of their officers received a complaint from the New York Marine Rescue Center about a seal that was entangled in a gill net on Little Gull Island.
The Officers responded by boat and spotted the animal on the island through binoculars. ECOs Zullo and Vandenbos jumped out of the boat, captured the injured seal, and transported it back to the vessel.
See Also: Great White Shark Pings Off Coast of New York
The Officers delivered the seal to the NYMRC in Riverhead for treatment of its wounds and eventual release back into the wild.
According to Wikipedia, the range of harbor seals in the Atlantic extends over a thousand miles, from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and Greenland to the beaches in North Carolina. One park ranger in New York City was once quoted as saying that "New York is like their Miami resort."
Conservation efforts have also increased their numbers across the Tri-State waters in the past several years.
Seal in the Hudson River
LoHud says a harbor seal on the Hudson was spotted near Hook Mountain off Nyack State Beach back in February, and even became a bit of a local attraction.
Experts say that cleaner Hudson waters have brought more marine wildlife like seals, dolphins, and even whales to the area in recent years. The environmental nonprofit Riverkeeper says the "Hudson River is just a road for a sea mammal", and says it's a safer area for a young seal where they'll be far away from sharks and other predators.