Gray Seal recovered in East Marion now on its way back to the ocean

02/08/2011 4:00 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | This one-month old gray seal was rescued by Riverhead Foundation biologist Gretchen Kowalik Tuesday.

A female gray seal pup found in a parking lot in East Marion is now on its way back to the ocean.

The seal, estimated to be less than a year old, was taken to the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Preservation and Research headquarters for an evaluation. It was found near the state boat ramp about 150 feet from the water, according to Riverhead Foundation director Rob DiGiovanni.

Mr. DiGiovanni said Plum Island is a major haul out site for gray seals, so the animal might have come from there.

The gray seal, estimated to be about one year old and to weigh about 22 pounds, was taken to the foundation’s headquarters located at Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in Riverhead. Biologists are about to release the seal, which is in good health, near the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays.

The Riverhead Foundation asks anyone who spots a marine animal on land to call their 24-hour hotline at 369-9829.