Gallery: A baby seal relaxing at the Jersey Shore

    Who doesn’t love baby seal photos?

    Migrating baby seals have been arriving at the Jersey Shore beaches since late February, and JSHN contributor Katie Clayton-Case was recently on the scene.

    “Apparently, these baby gray seals are coming from New England and just stopping by to rest,” she said. “I took these pictures with a telephoto lens and didn’t disturb it. I feel lucky to have seen this!”

    Clayton-Case is right about not disturbing the seals.

    According to a release from the Brigantine-based Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC), the baby seals recently finished a “marathon swim” from New England are resting before going back to sea.

    The organization requests that the public stay 50 yards away from the seals, which look cute but will deliver a sharp bite if scared.

    The marine mammals will warn anyone who gets too close with a “growl or snort,” or by “scratching with a flipper,” the release says, adding that the next defense is to bite “if they cannot get away fast enough.”

    While the baby seals may look cold while shivering on the beach, that’s just part of their fur drying mechanism.

    According to the release, seals have thick blubber layers under their skin, and they lay on their side and rock back and forth to get comfortable. The seals also put their front and rear flippers in the air to stretch and warm themselves.

    “These animals are born in zero degree weather and they’re equipped for survival on their own,” the release says.

    Anyone who spots a seal should call MMSC at 609-266-0538.

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