Lewes Organization Watching Felton Seal Closely - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lewes Organization Watching Felton Seal Closely

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LEWES, Del. - Since a seal popped up in Coursey Pond in Felton, volunteers from the MERR Institute have been watching her closely, making sure the seal they call Philomena is happy and healthy. 

Executive Director Suzanne Thurman says Philomena's presence in the pond is natural, as seals seek inland waters in the winter and deeper waters during storms. Thurman is confident that Philomena will make her way back to the bay when the time is right. 

"She detected the deeper water of the pond all on her own. She figured out how to go up the hill across the road and into that pond when she was trying to get away from that storm. Their receptors give them an amazing amount of information," she tells WBOC. "I feel she can easily find her way back to the bay."

Thurman says they don't want to move Philomena as a capture can be quite traumatic for a seal. She says if they see changes in Philomena's behavior, appearance or safety, they have a plan.

"We have plans with NOAA and with specially trained animal response team where they get called in for unique situations," she says. "So if she truly was in jeopardy, then we would call them in." 

But for now, Thurman says Philomena is doing great, and since she hasn't been spotted for a few days, she may have already left. Thurman says Philomena has attracted quite the fan base in Felton. 

"It's really heartwarming that the public has taken such an interest in her and is also wanting to keep her safe," she says with a smile.

Thurman says if anyone sees Philomena, please call the MERR Institute at 302-228-5029.

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