Mystic Aquarium Releases Beloved Seal ‘Shoebert'

The four-year-old wayward seal, named Shoebert by onlookers, became a local celebrity in Beverly after a week long stay in a pond there.

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A beloved gray seal, who captured the hearts of people in Beverly, Massachusetts, is back in the ocean after a brief stay at Mystic Aquarium's Animal Rescue Clinic.

The four-year-old wayward seal, named 'Shoeber't by onlookers, became a local celebrity in Beverly after a week long stay in a pond there.

The seal took its name from Shoe Pond, where it had been living after getting in through a drainage pipe. Shoebert's visit to Beverly came to an end last week, when he left the pond and made his way to the nearby police station. The moment was caught on surveillance camera. At 2:30 a.m., Shoebert was seen waddling across Beverly Police Department's parking lot.

The seal appeared to be in good health "and was a little sassy in the early morning hours," police said.

"He literally turned himself into police," said Sarah Callan, manager of Mystic Aquarium's Animal Rescue Program.

Mystic Aquarium's Animal Rescue team brought Shoebert to their clinic, where he ended up being a repeat customer.

Four years ago, Shoebert was rescued on Cape Cod. The International Fund for Animal Welfare transported him to Mystic for rehab before he was eventually released. The team, who named the seal Jekyll, never thought they would see him again.

"Which is really cool because we release seals all the time, but it's not often that we get to see their progress once they are released," said Callan.

The seal had a shorter stay in Mystic this time around. After receiving a clean bill of health, the animal rescue team released Shoebert back into the ocean on Block Island. They picked a remote location near other seals.

"I don't think he could have gotten into the water faster," said Callan. "He bee-lined it right for the ocean."

Shoebert was released with a satellite tracking device that is designed to fall off after several months. Callan said that it took a village to get Shoebert back to the ocean, where he belongs.

"Everyone really came together for this seal," said Callan. "It was really great to see the seal get back home and wishing him all the best out there." 

Shoebert's legacy is sure to live on in Beverly. The police department posted on Facebook that they are making Shoebert police patches and t-shirts to honor the city's favorite seal.

"He's got a home in Shoe Pond if he ever wants to come back,' said Officer Mike Boccuzzi with the Beverly Police Department.

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