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Seal evades capture attempts, then turns self in at Massachusetts police station

"Shoebert" made his way to a pond and evaded capture... but then crossed a parking lot and appeared outside the station a day later.

BEVERLY, Mass. — A gray seal that wandered into a Massachusetts pond and evaded authorities’ attempts to capture him turned himself in Friday after waddling up to the local police station.

The gray seal first appeared earlier this month in Shoe Pond in the city of Beverly, northeast of Boston. The animal is believed to have traveled to the pond from the sea via a river and drainage pipes.

The seal quickly became a local attraction and was even named “Shoebert” after his chosen pond.

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Firefighters and wildlife experts used boats and giant nets in an effort to capture the wily animal Thursday, but gave up after several fruitless hours. Early Friday morning, however, Shoebert left the pond, crossed a parking lot and appeared outside the side door of the local police station looking, according to a police statement, “for some help.”

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The seal was quickly corralled by a team of wildlife experts, firefighters and the police department's “entire midnight shift,” according to a Facebook post from the Beverly Police Department.

Breaking “Shoebert “ News. At approximately 230am on 09/23/22 we had a visit from everyone’s favorite seal Shoebert....

Posted by Beverly Police Department on Friday, September 23, 2022

“Shoebert appeared to be in good health and was a little sassy in the early morning hours,” the department noted.

The seal was transported to Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut, where aquarium staff will perform a medical exam before releasing him back into the wild, Sarah Callan, manager of the aquarium's animal rescue program, wrote in an email.

“He is acting like a typical, feisty, 4-year-old gray seal,” Callan added. “We are planning to release him in a quiet, remote location near other seals.”

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