The harbor seal spending time along the Squamscott River along Exeter's Swasey Parkway is doing well and in good health.

Exeter Police said they've received calls about the young seal and have consulted with the Marine Mammal Rescue Team at the Seacoast Science Center, who are keeping an eye on it. So far, it appears to be doing well.

Harbor seals are comfortable being out of water to sleep, nurse, or bask in the sun, according to the rescue team. They can also bite if provoked, or when someone gets too close.

Harbor seal in the area of the Squamscott River along Swasey Parkway in Exeter
Harbor seal in the area of the Squamscott River along Swasey Parkway in Exeter (Exeter Police)

The rescue team offered advice about how to treat the seal:

  • Watch quietly from at least 150 feet away
  • Keep dogs away
  • Don’t offer food or water to the seal
  • Don’t pour water on the seal
  • Don’t cover the seal with a towel or blanket
  • Don’t try to move the seal

Anyone who harasses the seal could face a fine, as the animal is covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Harbor seals are one of the most common marine mammals along the East Coast, according to NOAA Fisheries.

There are 16 stocks of harbor seal in the United States. The one most common in New England is considered to have a stable population.

Concerns about the seal’s location, size, coloring, and behavior can be reported to the Marine Mammal Rescue hotline at 603-997-9448.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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