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Seal leads police on wild goose chase in Maine

One man plowing the roads in Cape Elizabeth Monday morning met a surprising—and cute—visitor.

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — As inches of snow blanketed roads across Maine early Monday morning, plow trucks hit the road like any other winter storm day.

In Cape Elizabeth, it would come as no surprise to run into the occasional deer or turkey when plowing snow off the roads.

What you wouldn't expect, though, is a determined seal who was on a mission.

Around 1:30 a.m., a Public Works employee made an "unusual" call to police while plowing a neighborhood near Oakhurst Road, a Facebook post by the Cape Elizabeth Police Department said.

The employee explained he saw something "scurrying" through the neighborhood—something that was not the occasional deer or a turkey. It was a seal.

After the call, an officer responded to the area where the seal was found in the roadway "enjoying the hush of a snowy winter night," according to the Facebook post.

The seal was captured, brought to Fort Williams Park, and released into the ocean, police said. But the seal's journey was not over yet.

At approximately 1:30am this morning, we received an unusual call from a Public Works employee who was out plowing the...

Posted by Cape Elizabeth Police Department on Monday, January 23, 2023

Around 7 a.m., police were told the seal was now "traversing" down Shore Road, and according to the post, it was "possibly following that delicious scent of Cookie Jar donuts being baked." Who can blame him?

A different officer with the Cape Elizabeth Police Department responded this time, locating the seal sliding across a lawn on Olde Fort Road, police said in the post.

Once again, the seal was captured, brought back to Fort Williams Park, and released on the beach.

Still, the pup's journey was not over.

Around 8 a.m., just an hour later, the seal was discovered exploring Fort Williams Park, the post said.

Several citizens and an officer captured the seal and brought it down to the beach. The seal was released into the ocean, and this time, police said it "swam off in search of bigger and better adventures." It was the end of his journey, but not quite.

Police said they contacted Marine Mammals of Maine, and the organization was able to capture the seal. The seal was assessed at the organization's rehab center.

Marine Mammals of Maine posted an update about the seal on Facebook. The organization said they administered fluids and nutrition and that they have "a whole new seal!"

"After all his adventures over the last 24 hours, he has spent the entire day sleeping and suckling his flippers," according to the Facebook post.

Today’s snowstorm did not stop marine mammal activity! One case we responded to is this young gray seal in Cape...

Posted by Marine Mammals of Maine on Monday, January 23, 2023

"This morning he is much brighter and a lot less exhausted, so he gained a rehab buddyanother underweight gray seal pup," Marine Mammals of Maine added. "Since meeting, they have teamed up to make sure we know exactly how long before the next feed."

The seal's grand tour of Cape Elizabeth may be on hold for now, but his journey navigating a new friendship is just beginning.

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