It's cute enough that a seal is named Shoebert... but when he turns himself into authorities, because he's lost? Now that's just too cute.
On Thursday, Sept. 22, police in Beverly, Mass., local animal control, and Mystic Aquarium officials attempted to remove Shoebert the seal from a pond, though the attempts were unsuccessful. But the following day, Shoebert turned himself in to local police. He was then captured by Mystic Aquarium, and eventually, he was relocated.
Although he initially made things a little difficult, it goes without saying Shoebert made a positive impact on those involved with his rescue, as well as people following his story.
"Shobert's contributions expand far beyond the smiles he has brought everyone throughout his journey," Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Program Manager Sarah Callan stated via CBS News.
"Thank you Shoebert for having faith in the BPD, you will be deeply missed by your friends here. Over the past week you brought a lot of joy and happiness to our city. Feel free to come back and visit anytime!" the department posted to social media, according to WCVB.
Shoebert the Seal's story has a happy ending.
As previously mentioned, Shoebert the grey seal was found in Beverly, Mass. after being found in Shoe Pond earlier this month. Per NBC Boston, he seemed out of place, but healthy nonetheless. After refusing to leave his little pond, he waddled to the Beverly Police Department, and he was brought to Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut for medical evaluations.
After undergoing a health assessment, Shoebert, weighing in at 235 pounds and around four and a half years old, was found to be healthy.
After his health evaluation, Shoebert was eventually released back into the ocean this week, off Block Island in the state of Rhode Island.
But he didn't go alone. He left with a satellite tracker, enabling marine scientists to learn more about him, his habitat, ranges, and habits. And evidently, this wasn't his first time at Mystic — as a pup back in 2018, he underwent rehabilitation after sustaining a serious facial injury, which had resulted in an infection.
"Shobert's contributions expand far beyond the smiles he has brought everyone throughout his journey," Sarah Callan, Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Program manager, told NBC Boston. "Obtaining data on Shoebert's health and movements since his initial admit for rehabilitation in 2018 is a unique opportunity... Shobert's contributions to science and research will help us understand more about the gray seal species as a whole and the role they play in the ecosystem."
Why was Shoebert found in a pond?
It's unclear what exactly displaced Shoebert. Although he didn't seem to be starving, he could have been in search of food, he may have lost track of his friends and family, or he simply may have gotten a little disoriented as a result of recent storms in the Atlantic.
We're happy Shoebert is presumably safe and sound in the ocean, though his story has definitely brought smiles to many faces — hopefully he's been reunited with his loved ones.