Sunday, 24 March 2013

Wayward seal shows up at Mercy Hospital entrance

Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Mercy Hospital had an unusual visitor early Friday: a young gray seal that managed to negotiate the Fore River Parkway and climb the hill to the hospital's main entrance.

The young gray seal that was found on the doorstep of Mercy Hospital in Portland early Friday morning.

A gray seal makes its way back to the Fore River after showing up on the doorstep of Mercy Hospital in Portland on Friday.

The seal was discovered about 4 a.m. by a crew with Seabreeze Property Service, which maintains the hospital grounds and was there to clear snow.

"When I first saw it, it looked like somebody snuggled up in a blanket, wiggling around," said Mike Therrien of Buxton, who works with the company.

Therrien said the seal, almost 3 feet long, appeared to be bleeding slightly from the mouth. That may have been because the seal was eating snow and ice, the workers were told later.
When the female, only a few months old, started working her way farther inland, Therrien and three other workers blocked its path.

"We sort of guided it back down the hill," across the street and into the Fore River, he said. "It lunged a few times at my shovel."

The seal seemed to resist the bare pavement, but when the workers used shovels to put snow in front of it, the seal quickly slid over it, he said.

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