ROCKAWAY BEACH — A young harbor seal has floated up to Queens to bask in the sun and sand, an official said.
The program director of Riverhead Foundation, Kim Durham, said the harbor seal, a more common animal than the arctic seal that washed up a few miles away in March, appears to be a yearling, and was likely born last May or June.
"Today's a perfect day for them to haul out — usually what they do is lay out on their side with head up and tail up," she said.
The sunshine and vitamin D is good for them, she said, and today's high of 60 degrees is much warmer than the ocean.
The seal is common on Long Island beaches and in New York Harbor, she said, and looks healthy, although she's not sure if it's a male or female seal.
"The body condition looks great and I like the posture, very alert."
The harbor seal is more common along Long Island beaches and in New York Harbor than the arctic seal who washed up on a beach in Far Rockaway in March, she said.
"We were seeing an influx of harp seals, the arctic seals," she said.
Those seals were flocking to southern beaches because of New York's brutal winter, she said.
Durham said visitors to the popular beach should keep a safe distance, about 50 yards, from the animal.
This particular type of seal usually isn't as patient with curious humans, she said.
"He's going to take so much, then he's going to flip back into the water," she said.
"He's trying to catch a nap, and it's not gonna happen in Rockaway."