Baby seal found wandering by police along highway in Ocean County, New Jersey

Officials rescued the healthy 36-pound seal pup before releasing it back into the wild.

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Thursday, March 2, 2023
Seal found crossing road in Brick Township, New Jersey
A seal pup was discovered to be crossing a main road in Brick Township, NJ and was brought to safety.

BRICK TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- People often joke about why the chicken crossed the road, but what about a seal?

Officers of the Brick Township Police Department spotted a baby seal along a highway on Monday night. The gray female seal pup was seen trying to cross Route 35 toward the bay near Curtis Point Drive in Mantoloking.

Officers managed to stop traffic and allow the seal to safely cross the road. The pup, however, did not go back home just yet, as it made its way into someone's backyard on Ocean Avenue and stayed there under the supervision of the officers.

Animal rescuers from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center eventually arrived on the scene and took the pup into its care.

Fortunately, the healthy 36-pound pup showed no signs of injury or illness and was released back into the wild on Tuesday afternoon.

Surprisingly, this is not the first time seals have been seen wandering away from their homes. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center has received many cases of seal sightings in the last 45 years.

According to the center, seals are typically born on islands, and so when they get lost, their natural instinct is to keep wandering until they spot a body of water.

So, experts say it makes sense then that the female pup recently rescued was trying to cross Route 35 because the highway is close to both the ocean and New Jersey's Barnegat Bay.

If you come across a wandering seal or animal yourself, you can contact the center's 24-hour stranding hotline at 609-266-0538.