Young seal makes a stop at the Va. Beach Oceanfront

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by Jonathan Costen, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 6:58 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 1:31 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH - People walking on the beach at the Oceanfront Monday got an unexpected treat. They saw a young harbor seal that had come ashore near the hotels on the resort strip.  

Cheri Swofford with the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team said the seal is about a year old and appears to be in good condition.

“He's doing a banana shake - what we call when he brings his head and tail up and it looks like a little banana. He's doing that, he's fat, healthy. He's being fed. He's not skinny.”

Swofford said the seals wean very early so it's not unusual for one this age to be on its own.

The 60-80 pound seal started to draw quite a crowd. Ryan Dunigan moved to Virginia Beach from Indiana a couple of weeks ago.

“This is why I moved down here, right here. We got Lake Michigan, but we don't have seals at Lake Michigan though,” he said.

Workers with the Virginia Aquarium kept a close eye on the seal throughout the day making sure people didn't get too close. Although it's cute, it is a wild animal.

"We're concerned people might get too close to him. It can attack, bite, dogs that aren't on a leash can get entangled with it," she warned.

Swofford said the seal would return to the water when it was ready to.

She stated seals have been spotted at the jet ski docks at Big Sam's, in Sandbridge, Back Bay, False Cape State Park and the Eastern Shore.

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