People in a Massachusetts town have been left scratching their heads after discovering an unusual new resident in their town’s pond: a seal.
According to reports, the animal recently appeared in a freshwater pond in the town of Beverly, Massachusetts. According to a Facebook post from the town’s animal department, authorities found the seal in Shoe Pond on Friday morning.
“Please be advised that Beverly Animal Control and the Beverly Police Department are aware there is a seal in Shoe Pond,” the post read in part. “Please refrain from calling the Police Department and Animal Control to report the seal.”
In addition, Animal Control urged residents to remain outside the fence surrounding Shoe Pond. They also warned people to not feed the animal.
The department also noted it was in communication with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). After they spoke with the organization, they recommended that the department “let the seal be.”
Animal Control said, “The seal does not appear to be in any type of distress and has the ability when it is ready to go back into the river.” They added: “There is plenty of fish and water in shoe pond for the seal to hang out for a while.”
Dolphin found swimming in Connecticut river
However, the seal isn’t the only defiant sea animal found in New England in an unusual body of water. In July, a group of fishermen saw a wayward dolphin swimming by itself in the Thames River in Connecticut.
Much like the Beverly Animal Control, the town’s Aquarium in Mystic reached out to the NOAA. After some back and forth, they advised the organization to watch the dolphin.
Later, the aquarium sent a volunteer to the scene where the dolphin was swimming. At the time, they wanted to monitor the animal and its behavior. However, according to the aquarium, the dolphin had vanished when the volunteer arrived.
Alaskan lake home to rare population of seals
While seals survive in salt water, there are some instances in which these mammals thrive in fresh water. For example, Iliamna Lake in Alaska is the largest body of freshwater in the state. It is also home to a seal population that spends its entirety in freshwater— which is an extremely rare occurrence.
In a study from 2019, researchers discovered that the animals are a population from the larger population of eastern Pacific harbor seals. They also found that these freshwater creatures spend their entire lives in Iliamna Lake. They also eat a different diet than other types of seal species.
The study also theorized that due to their differences, programs to protect the population should be managed differently than for coastal Eastern Pacific harbor seals.