Wayward seal barking up the wrong river
By DANIELLE DROLET Gazette Staff Writer
MIDDLEBORO - Mother Nature just might have pulled
an early April Fools joke on
(Seal took a stroll out of the Narragansett, a
Major Trib of the Taunton River)
at 5:40 a.m., 21-year-old Amy Kelble waited for
a ride to work in the driveway of her
Suddenly, there was a rustle in the bushes and two "big bug eyes" stared up at her, New England Aquarium spokesperson Tony LaCasse said in a phone interview.
The "big bug eyes" belonged to a 32-pound juvenile male harp seal, he said. "Harp seals are native to the Canadian Arctic," LaCasse said. Middleboro police received a call from the Kelble residence that there was a seal on
Alex Kelble, 11, said he - along with his brothers, Joseph 13, and Dana, 9 -ran outside to see what their sister had found.
"We ran into the house like 90 miles an hour and told our mom. She thought we were playing an April Fools joke," said Joseph. "He was about 2-feet long," added Alex. "He had some fur on his side... He was yawning a lot."
LaCasse said the low weight of the seal put into question whether he was born in the area or not. The "runt-sized" seal, he said, could be approximately a year old. "He's undersized for his age," said LaCasse. "There are remote chances that he was born down here. Generally their habitat is in
"It's a harsh introduction into the world," LaCasse said. This might not even be the first time the public has spotted the seal in the area. On Saturday, there was a report of a harp seal in the
The biologist added into the picture another point of irony, LaCasse remarked. "[Rubenstein's] parents live on that street," said LaCasse. "So we moved the seal to her parents' home and conducted an extensive medical examination."
The medical examination, he said, included drawing blood for a DNA sample to determine just where in the Canadian province the "little guy" came from and a fecal sample to see what he had eaten.
The "little guy" is now enroute to the
"They're young enough not to know better," he said.