Seal found on N.J. beach faces long rehabilitation after shark attack

     The seal discovered at Sandy Hook on Wednesday. (Image: Marine Mammal Stranding Center)

    The seal discovered at Sandy Hook on Wednesday. (Image: Marine Mammal Stranding Center)

    New Jersey’s Marine Mammal Stranding Center is caring for a young gray seal that was attacked by a shark.

    Rangers at the Gateway National Park at Sandy Hook discovered the seal suffering from bite wounds on Wednesday. The Brigantine-based stranding center says the yearling female also lost some hair.

    The stranding center says it may be the same seal that was seen in Sandy Hook and Brigantine over the last three months.

    “She did escape with her life, but needs a long rehab to heal,” a center spokesperson posted on Facebook. 

    The spokesperson said the seal, who was “excellent” weight and a “great bad attitude,” was “resting quietly” Thursday night.

    The seal will be returned to the ocean after it recovers from its wounds, which could take several months. The center has issued a plea for donations to help with her food and medication along with repairs to its seal treatment rooms. 

    Harbor, grey, and harp seals are typically seen at the Jersey Shore during the winter months as they swim down from the New England region. 

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

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    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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