A Navy Seal pup
In this photo, a seal pup after it was rescued by Yarmouth Police Department on Dec. 29, 2017. Facebook / Yarmouth Police Department

A seal pup was spotted and rescued from a highway in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. Police officials said that they found the seal on Route 6A in Yarmouth Port on Cape Cod late on Friday.

Officers put the seal in a cage and held on to him with the help of rescue group Amazing Animal Ambassadors until wildlife officials arrived.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the police also nicknamed the seal “Houston” in honor of Kevin A. Houston, a U.S. Navy Seal from Cape Cod who was killed in Afghanistan.

It is believed that the seal pup probably traveled up a nearby frozen creek.

Speaking to Cape Cod Times, Brian Sharpe, manager of Marine Mammal Rescue and Research for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in Yarmouth Port, said the 6-month-old seal had followed winding White’s Creek inland from Grays Beach and probably crossed Route 6A near Weir Road where the creek goes under the road.

“This does happen, especially with the younger ones. They (people) should keep a good distance for their safety as well for the animals. Like any wild animal, they will defend themselves. That’s why we encourage people to call us. Luckily no one got injured and the seal was not injured,” Sharpe said.

The National Marine Fisheries Service guidelines ask people to remain at least 150 feet from seals.

It was Sharpe and a veterinarian from IFAW who were the first responders to a pizza shop’s parking lot where the 3-foot-long, 40-pound seal had been placed into a box, then transferred to a pet crate by a passerby.

It was after Sharpe and the vet rescued the pup that he was transferred back to
IFAW headquarters where a checkup showed it to be healthy.

According to Yarmouth Police Department, the seal was transferred back to the sea Saturday. “It was bright, alert, responsive and reactive to being approached by people,” Sharpe said.

The police department also posted a message along with a photograph of the seal explaining their rescue mission. “SAVED! Late last night, this beautiful baby seal was found waddling around Route 6A in Yarmouthport. He was rescued and is now safe and sound. How he got so far inland from the ocean to Route 6A without getting hurt is amazing. Must be a NAVY SEAL! ”

The officers also said, “Our very special late night visitor has been given a clean bill of health by wildlife officials and been released back into the ocean. Thank you for visiting us and stay warm and safe out there buddy."

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IFAW also recommends everyone to keep their distance (at least 150 feet) from the animal and use binoculars to observe its behavior after which they also recommend calling the Stranding Hotline at 508-743-9548 and provide a detailed description of the animal, its behavior, and its location.