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Riverhead Foundation rescues seal pup found on Hampton Bays beach

This gray seal pup, first spotted Monday,

This gray seal pup, first spotted Monday, Feb. 2, 2016, on a Hampton Bays beach, was rescued by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation after a visit the following day determined the pup needed treatment. Credit: Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation

Lethargic and underweight, a gray seal pup, first spotted Monday on a Hampton Bays beach, is now under the care of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.

A call to the foundation’s 24/7 hotline tipped off biologists to the seal’s presence, said spokeswoman Rachel Bosworth.

On Tuesday a team went to assess the pup’s condition and determined the 1-month-old male needed to be brought in for treatment.

The first order of business is getting him hydrated and eating on his own, Bosworth said. A veterinarian checkup was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, with a chest x-ray on the agenda. “The plan is to fatten him up,” she said, and “other than that, he is doing well!”

Last month another gray seal pup, also around a month old, was found on Ponquogue Beach. In that case, the foundation’s biologists said it appeared “to be in good condition” and “exhibited appropriate behavior by moving and growling at the approach of a potential threat,” so the creature was left to its own devices.

Though calls to report stranded creatures are appreciated, Bosworth said, she reminds people to stay at least 150 feet away from the federally protected animals because interaction with humans can harm them.

The foundation’s 24-hour hotline is 631-369-9829.

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