Monday, December 22, 2014

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Harp Seal Lounges in Sand Along Rockaway Beach

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TWC News: Harp Seal Lounges in Sand Along Rockaway Beach
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An unexpected sunbather got a lot of attention at Rockaway Beach Thursday.

Beachgoers found a 13- or 14-year-old harp seal lounging in the sand.

The Riverhead Foundation says that the seal was molting, which is the process where it loses and re-grows its fur.

They say that around this time of the year, it's normal for seals to travel farther south to bask in the sun.

The foundation says that the seal is healthy and that they've seen no signs of injuries.

Passersby say they were surprised.

"I actually was walking up the beach. I thought that actually it was a hurt animal, and I'm very glad that it wasn't," said one person. "To see this is actually quite amazing."

"It's kinda like, getting a head start on the beach season," said another. "It's really, it's a wonderful thing."

"Adorable. I can't get enough of it," said a third. "I've never seen that on the beach."

Seals are federally protected animals, so people have to stay 150 feet away at all times.

Police were seen standing guard by the animal.

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