January 7, 2009

Seal caught at Mass. fish hatchery

Massachusetts wildlife officials said a seal that found its way to the state fish hatchery was caught and released at a beach 20 miles away.

Officials said the female harbor seal, which experts estimate was born in May, was first spotted at about 7 a.m. Tuesday by Division of Fisheries and Wildlife employees making rounds at the Sandwich Hatchery, the Cape Cod Times of Hyannis, Mass., reported Wednesday.

The seal, which was released 20 miles from the hatchery at a beach in West Dennis, had to travel a long path of creeks to find the hatchery, officials said.

It's either a very smart little seal or a very lucky little seal, said Katie Touhey, a spokeswoman for the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Cape Cod Stranding Network. It looks healthy enough, pretty full in fact.