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Riverhead Foundation Documents First Harp Seal of the Season

Yearling seal was found on the beach in Montauk, and turned out not to be in distress.

Riverhead Foundation Documents First Harp Seal of the Season

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation reported its first harp seal sighting of the season, and it was in Montauk.

A beach walker called the foundation's 24-hour hotline on Friday. The seal turned out to be a yearling, about 3.5 feet long.

After assessing its behavior and overall body condition, the foundation decided to leave the seal on the beach for further monitoring, as no signs of distress were seen.

On its Facebook page, the foundation said: "Harp seals are known to stay on the beach for multiple days in a row and they often 'play possum' when approached by people. Playing 'dead' is their defense mechanism and should not be misinterpreted as the animal being friendly or docile."

The foundation asked that if you spot a seal on the beach, call the foundation's 24-hours hotline at 631-369-9829, and do not disturb it. Keep a safe distance.

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