BEVERLY, Mass. — A seal that has been the talk of the town in Beverly for days left Shoe Pond overnight and surprised officers when he unexpectedly showed up at police headquarters in search of help early Friday morning.
“Shoebert,” who had attracted many curious onlookers as he floated around in the pond, waddled to the Cummings Center parking lot and made his way up to the side door of the Beverly Police Department around 2:30 a.m., according to the Beverly police.
In a Facebook post, Beverly police wrote, “Within a short period of time the entire midnight shift, Beverly Animal Contol, Members of NOAA, International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Beverly Fire Department all came to the rescue of Shoebert. We were able to get Shoebert into a special wildlife carrier without incident. Shoebert appeared to be in good health and was a little sassy in the early morning hours.”
Surveillance video shared by police showed Shoebert waddling up the road outside of a fence near the entryway to the department’s parking area. When an officer came out to investigate, Shoebert turned around and scampered off in the opposite direction.
Shoebert was corralled and transported to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut for observation and any needed medical care. He’ll be released into the wild at a later time.
An NOAA Fisheries worker who responded to the police station confirmed Shoebert is a male and about 4 years of age. He’s also equipped with a small tag, indicating a previous rehabilitation stint.
On Thursday NOAA, along with Animal Control and the Beverly Fire Department tried to rescue Shoebert, but he kept swimming away. But after several hours, the rescue attempt was unsuccessful, so Shoebert got at one more night to roam free in the pond.
Shoebert quickly became a celebrity during his stay on the North Shore. A local shop even made t-shirts in his honor.
“It’s been so much fun, I came here yesterday with my daughter and she got to see him swimming around, so it’s cool it’s like a kids book come to life,” said Chris Wrenn, who lives in Beverly.
Officials said Shoebert was taken to Connecticut and not to the ocean because they’re afraid he’ll get stuck in the pond again.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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