Arctic Seal Spotted On Carteret County Beach

The Crystal Coast is home to a very very rare visitor, a seal that normally call arctic waters its home.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum says last week on Harkers Island they found a harp seal. "North Carolina is considered part of the normal winter range for harbor seals, but recently we have seen three additional seal species, all of which we consider well out of their northern normal range," said Keith Rittmaster, museum curator.

The seal was sunning itself on the beach and at last report was doing fine.

Harp seals are typically found from the Arctic to the southeastern coast of Canada. A second harp seal was spotted last week near Wilmington, and a third at Kill Devil Hills.

Rittmaster says during the winter months, sightings of seals on North Carolina beaches have become increasingly frequent, but the harp seal could be a first for Carteret County.

If you see a seal in North Carolina waters, the NC Marine Mammal Stranding Network would like to hear from you. You can call them at (252) 241-5119.