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Two young harbor seals found 60 miles inland in Maine river
June 29, 2011 / 9:05 PM / 6 years ago

Two young harbor seals found 60 miles inland in Maine river

BRUNSWICK, Maine (Reuters) - Two young harbor seals have been found 60 miles inland on a Maine river, the farthest state biologists said they have seen juvenile seals roam from the Atlantic Ocean.

One seal seemed to be doing well, while the other was thin and had to be rescued over the weekend, Lynda Doughty of the state Department of Marine Resources said.

“This is the time of year when we typically see them travel, and sometimes they need help,” she said. “Pups are usually born in May or June, stay with the mom for three weeks or so, and then set off to find food.”

The healthy-looking seal, which looked to be about six weeks old, appeared not to have missed too many meals as he splashed around the Sebasticook River, she said.

“Harbor seals are very opportunistic feeders, and it’s found kind of a honey hole of fish,” she said. “It didn’t look skinny.”

The other seal, a young male, was captured and sent to a rehabilitation facility in Biddeford, where it was expected to spend several months before being released, she said.

Both seals made it all the way to Benton, Maine, about 24 miles north of Augusta, and a likely 60-mile swim from the ocean, she said. Unlike dolphins and porpoises, she said, seals do fine in fresh and brackish water.

Benton is about 60 miles from Rockport, Maine, home to Andre the seal, a local harbor seal whose antics inspired “A Seal Called Andre,” a children’s book, and “Andre,” a 1994 film.

Reporting by Sarah Mahoney, editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Cynthia Johnston

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