Arctic Seal Spotted On New York City Beach

By Aidan Gardiner and Katie Honan

QUEENS — A young arctic seal frolicked on Rockaway Beach Thursday to molt his coat and enjoy the sun, officials said.

The young harp seal first made his way onto the sand near Beach 21st Street about 12 p.m., prompting the NYPD to notify Riverhead Foundation staff, who said it was in good health and should be left alone, a director at the non-profit said.

"He's a very handsome little guy. It doesn't appear that anything is wrong with the animal," said Riverhead rescue program director Kim Durham.

A police officer drew a line in the sand around the seal and warned passersby to stay back.

Young harp seals tend to beach themselves through April in order to molt their coats, Durham said.

They can appear haggard as they tend not to eat during this molting period, but Durham still warned passersby not to interfere and notify authorities if they see marine life.

"Be a good seal neighbor," she said.

Those who spot distressed marine life should call the Riverhead Foundation's 24 hour hotline at 631-369-9829.