Seals Wash Up on Jersey Shore

Seals found on the beaches are malnourished and have parasites, sources say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCPhiladelphia.com

    Seals are washing up on New Jersey beaches by the dozen, according to reports given to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J.

    There have been 26 seal strandings in New Jersey since November, sources say. Fourteen of those strandings happened in February.

    While it is not unusual for seals to get stranded this time of year, there are more than usual showing up on Jersey shore beaches, according to a spokeswoman for the Brigantine center.

    The gray and harbor seals found on the beaches are malnourished and have parasites, authorities say. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is housing 11 seals right now -- making the center two-thirds full.

    Many are suffering from respiratory infections and parasites, officials say.

    One seal came ashore on Island Beach State Park Saturday, but slipped back into the waters off Seaside Park, reports the Star Ledger.

    The reason for the increased number of seals stranded is still unknown but officials familiar with the investigation believe that global warning could be playing a role in the harp seals becoming stranded.

    Folks at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center are asking for the public's help in recoveirng some of the costs (food, medicine, etc.) for caring for the seals. Anyone who wants to help can help "Adopt-a-Seal" by clicking here.

    Also, they put out a PSA to help educate the public about what to do if they see a seal on the beach -- the tips include calling the center ASAP at (609) 266-0538 and staying at least 50 feet away from the animal.