Video: Crews attempt to rescue Shoebert, the seal from Shoe Pond in Beverly
Following unsuccessful rescue attempts, Shoebert — a gray seal that popped up in Beverly’s Shoe Pond over the weekend and quickly became a local celebrity — turned himself in to police early on Friday morning.
Around 2:30 a.m., the seal made his way out of the pond and through the Cummings Center parking lot, arriving at the side door of the Beverly police station, the Beverly Police Department wrote in a Facebook post.
Officer Michael Bucci told the Boston Globe Friday that the department got a warning call about the incoming seal.
“The security guard at the Cummings Center called us and said, ‘Shoebert’s on his way over!,’” he said.
Soon, the department’s midnight shift, the Beverly Fire Department, Beverly Animal Control, and members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and International Fund for Animal Welfare came to Shoebert’s aid.
“We were able to get Shoebert into a special wildlife carrier without incident,” Beverly police said. “Shoebert appeared to be in good health and was a little sassy in the early morning hours.”
He was taken to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut for observation and a medical assessment before his eventual release into the wild.
The NOAA initially recommended that Beverly leave Shoebert alone, as he did not appear to be in distress and had plenty of fish and water to sustain himself for a bit. However, Beverly Animal Control said in a Facebook post Thursday that curious spectators had been crossing the caution tape officials put up to keep people from going near Shoebert.
City and wildlife officials had attempted to rescue Shoebert on Thursday, but gave up for the day around 6:45 p.m.
The seal became a beloved local celebrity during his brief stint in Beverly; Danvers ice cream shop Cherry Farm Creamery named a flavor after him — “Shoebert’s Special S’more” — and Beverly t-shirt company Sully’s Brand, which specializes in sports apparel, came out with a Shoebert shirt.
Meanwhile, the Beverly Police Department post announcing Shoebert’s capture racked up more than 1,400 shares within just a few hours.
“Thank you Shoebert for having faith in the BPD, you will be deeply missed by your friends here,” Beverly police said. “Over the past week you brought a lot of joy and happiness to our city. Feel free to come back and visit anytime!”
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