The young seal that dazzled beachgoers at the Jersey Shore late this summer is heading to the Detroit Zoo, a marine mammal organization announced.
After beaching herself multiple times, the female seal was deemed “unreleasable” by the Marine Mammal Standing Center (MMSC), a Brigantine-based non-profit organization, in September.
“The first time we saw her at Island Beach State Park in early July we had to remove a fish hook from her mouth. The second time she was ashore was in Sea Isle City, where we found her coughing,” MMSC’s Sheila Dean told NewsWorks in August.
MMSC then took the marine mammal in for rehabilitation due to infections and released her in Sandy Hook in late August after she gained over 20 pounds in five weeks.
A day later, the seal cruised along the Ocean County coastline, whipping beachgoers into a frenzy.
The seal then began a brief residency of sorts at Island Beach State Park before heading further south to Longport.
That’s when MMSC intervened, deeming the seal as too friendly in the wild.
“This grey seal is just too friendly for her own good,” Dean told NewsWorks in September. “She was allowing children to pet her and taking food from people. She does have some powerful jaws, and we wouldn’t want to see anyone hurt. She has had a history of being too friendly, which we thought she had been broken of before we let her go the third time.”
She departs to the Motor City on Sunday.