Seal of approval: Wildlife officials say harbor seal sighting on Florida coast nothing to flip out over

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Florida beachgoers got quite a shock this week when they spotted a harbor seal sunning itself on the shore. But wildlife officials said it’s nothing to flip out over.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission posted on social media that it’s not totally out of the ordinary to see a harbor seal along the coast like the one spotted on Ponte Vedra Beach this week.

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Biologists said people are often concerned when they spot the young seals alone, but said the seals are independent, solitary creatures when they’re young.

They said it’s common for them to have a few cuts and scrapes and normal for them to take rest on the beach.

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Officials said if you see a seal on the shore, stay 50 yards away and keep your dog on a leash.

If you spot one, FWC  asks you to call the FWC Hotline at 1-888-404-3922 to report the sighting.

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A Harbor Seal in Florida? Yes! Occasionally we may have a seal visit our coastal waters. This week, FWC biologists...

Posted by FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute on Friday, February 12, 2021
Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.