Police in the Hamptons are used to seeing just about everything.
Just not usually a wayward seal waddling along town streets with seemingly no place to go.
Southampton Town Police responded to a 911 call April 3 about a seal on the roadway at the traffic circle at Riverside.
“Some of our officers responded and found a baby harbor seal in the roadway near the Budget Host Inn,” officers said.
The New York Marine Rescue Center later said the seal, which is actually a young gray seal, climbed up a fish ladder out of the Peconic River, where it was likely foraging on fish, before making its way into town.
“Gray seals are known to be explorers and often investigate the environment around them; even traversing several miles at a time,” the center explained. “NYMRC has previously responded to seals traveling far distances from the water, so this case is not abnormal.”
Still, it was a strange case for local police, which in turn called the NYMRC, (formerly known as the Riverhead Foundation.)
“Our officers were able to detain the seal until the seal was taken into custody by the Riverhead Foundation,” police said.
Biologists picked up the animal and took him back to the hospital, where an initial physical showed the animal to be in good health.
“Luckily this little guy is doing well,” the facility said later. “Although not suited for streets, seals are well adapted to pull them selves up on to rocks, land masses, and other substrates to haul out making them quite a resilient animal.”
It was quite an incredible journey.
But remember, if you ever spot one keep at least 150-feet away since seals are federally protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
“If you see a sick or injured seal (or one holding up your commute!) be sure to report the animal to the NY 24-Hour Stranding Hotline at 631-369-9829,” the center added.