A seal that made its home in a US pond has appeared outside a Massachusetts police station – a day after firefighters and wildlife experts spent hours trying to catch the animal.
The grey seal appeared earlier this month in Shoe Pond in the city of Beverly, north east of Boston.
The mammal is believed to have travelled to the pond from the sea via a river and drainage pipes.
The seal quickly became a local attraction and was even named “Shoebert” after its chosen pond.
Firefighters and wildlife experts used boats and giant nets in an effort to capture the wily animal on Thursday but gave up after several fruitless hours.
Early on Friday morning, however, Shoebert left the pond, crossed a car park and appeared outside the side door of the local police station looking, according to a police statement, “for some help”.
The seal was quickly corralled by a team of wildlife experts, firefighters and the police department’s “entire midnight shift”, according to a Facebook post from the Beverly Police Department.
“Shoebert appeared to be in good health and was a little sassy in the early morning hours,” the department reported.
The seal was taken to Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut, where marine biologists will care for it before deciding whether to release it back into the wild.
“You will be deeply missed by your friends here,” the police department wrote on Facebook. “Over the past week you brought a lot of joy and happiness to our city. Feel free to come back and visit any time!”