Last Wednesday evening Kathy Cerick and her family were walking on Lobsterville Beach near Dogfish Bar when they spotted a seal. It did not move when they approached it, so they took photographs and called the police who called the New England Aquarium. Ms. Cerick later received a call from the Aquarium asking her to forward the photographs. The Aquarium then responded that the seal was a harp seal. Ms. Cerick was asked to check on the seal again the next day, which she did, but the seal was gone.

Also sometimes called saddleback seals because of their markings, harp seals breed in Newfoundland and Greenland, and swim in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Young harp seals are born on the ice and are famous for their snowy white coats.

Harp seals are not endangered, but they are hunted in Canada for their pelts, creating conflict between preservationists and commercial hunters known as sealers.