New Jersey's land-lovin' seal bound for Detroit

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
5 PHOTOS
New Jersey seal to travel to Detroit
See Gallery
New Jersey's land-lovin' seal bound for Detroit
A female grey seal splashes as it climbs out of a holding tank at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine N.J. on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. The land-loving seal, which has come ashore repeatedly in New York and New Jersey since march, is being sent to a zoo in Detroit because it has become too accustomed to humans. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
A female grey seal looks for food after climbing out of a holding tank at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine N.J. on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. The land-loving seal, which has come ashore repeatedly in New York and New Jersey since march, is being sent to a zoo in Detroit because it has become too accustomed to humans. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
A female grey seal swims in a holding tank at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine N.J. on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. The land-loving seal, which has come ashore repeatedly in New York and New Jersey since march, is being sent to a zoo in Detroit because it has become too accustomed to humans. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
A female grey seal climbs out of a holding tank at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine N.J., on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. The land-loving seal, which has come ashore repeatedly in New York and New Jersey since march, is being sent to a zoo in Detroit because it has become too accustomed to humans. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

BRIGANTINE, N.J. (AP) -- A seal with a fondness for New Jersey beaches - and the food-sharing fishermen and beachgoers that come with them - is headed for Detroit after becoming a little too friendly with the locals.

Since March, the 100-pound female gray seal had stopped on Long Island, New York, and New Jersey beaches at Sandy Hook, Island Beach State Park, Sea Isle City and Longport.

Each time, animal rescue groups shooed it back into the water or treated it for illness or injury. But the seal kept coming back.

When people started petting it on a beach in Longport on Sept. 5, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center removed it from the ocean permanently because it had become too acclimated to humans.

"We would see it in Sea isle City, swimming among the bathers, not bothering anybody, but clearly too used to humans being around," said Bob Schoelkopf, director of the stranding center. "In Longport, it came ashore and kids went up and started petting it. That's what sealed its fate."

The animal's odyssey began on March 9 when Long Island's Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research responded to a report of a young seal with a swollen flipper. The animal was rehabilitated at the center for just over three months and released on June 14.

On July 10, New Jersey's Marine Mammal Stranding Center received a call about a seal on the beach with a fishing hook lodged in its mouth. A technician from the center removed the hook. Because the animal had no other obvious injuries or illnesses, it was released and went back into the water.

But two days later, the seal was back ashore again, this time in Sea Isle City, where a large crowd gathered, causing the animal to become anxious and stressed. The stranding center picked it up and brought it to its Brigantine facility, where personnel noticed the animal had a cough, and put it on antibiotics.

When the cough disappeared and blood tests showed the seal had no illness, it was released at Sandy Hook on Aug. 18, having gained 21 pounds at the rescue center.

"Throughout the next few weeks, there were dozens of reports of our seal swimming in close proximity to bathers in the surf," Schoelkopf said. "We got calls from people saying they had fed it."

After deciding the seal was too used to humans to ever return to the ocean, the stranding center notified federal wildlife officials, who found a home for it at the Detroit Zoo.

The seal leaves on Sunday for the zoo, which will have a contest to name it.

Given that it's a big-eyed young female obsessed with the Jersey shore and disdainful of authority, how about Snooki?

RELATED: 35,000 walruses come ashore in Alaska

42 PHOTOS
35,000 walrus come ashore in northwest Alaska (9/30/2014)
See Gallery
New Jersey's land-lovin' seal bound for Detroit
In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 27, 2014, and provided by NOAA, some 35,000 walrus gather on shore near Point Lay, Alaska. Pacific walrus looking for places to rest in the absence of sea ice are coming to shore in record numbers on Alaska's northwest coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirms an estimated 35,000 walrus wer photographed Saturday about 700 miles northwest of Anchorage. The enormous gathering was spotted during NOAA's annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey. (AP Photo/NOAA, Corey Accardo)
In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 23, 2014 and released by NOAA, some 1500 walrus are gather on the northwest coast of Alaska. Pacific walrus looking for places to rest in the absence of sea ice are coming to shore in record numbers, according to NOAA. (AP Photo/NOAA, Corey Accardo)
In this Aug. 17, 2011 photo provided by National Marine Mammal Laboratory, herds of Walrus line the shore off Point Lay Alaska. In winter, Pacific walruses are found at the edge of sea ice in the Bering Sea. Older males remain in the Bering Sea for the summer, but mothers and their young ride the edge of sea ice as it melts north through the Bering Strait and into the Chukchi Sea.(AP photo/National Marine Mammal Laboratory)
In this undated photo provided by provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, walruses lie on the beach near Point Lay, Alaska. Tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska because the sea ice they normally rest on has melted. Federal scientists say this massive move to shore by walruses is unusual in the United States. But it has happened at least twice before, in 2007 and 2009. In those years Arctic sea ice also was at or near record low levels. (AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey)
In this Sept. 7, 2010 picture provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, USGS Wildlife Biologist Tony Fischbach lies on the beach observing a tagged walrus near Point Lay, Alaska. Tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska because the sea ice they normally rest on has melted. Federal scientists say this massive move to shore by walruses is unusual in the United States. (AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey)
This Sept. 7, 2010 picture provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows walruses on the barrier island beaches near Point Lay, Alaska. Tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska because the sea ice they normally rest on has melted. Federal scientists say this massive move to shore by walruses is unusual in the United States. (AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey)
NORDAUSTLANDET, NORWAY - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE A group of Walrus photographed in Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway. Meet the walruses that could be the most friendly one tonne balls of blubber in the Arctic. Despite the fearsome reputation for dramatic fighting bouts - in the presence of one brave female photographer these walruses with their two foot-long tusks were as good as gold. In one spectacular picture she stands her ground and takes a picture with her underwater camera mounted on a pole just as one of the ten foot-long creatures reared its toothy head into the air. Intrepid Rebecca Jackrel, 40, from San Francisco gamely jumped into one degree Celsius water to join a pair of portly pennipeds - as this type of marine mammal is called. 'I've got a real soft spot for pinnipeds - they are huge and unwieldy on land,' explained Rebecca. 'Yet when they get into the water they manage to dance with effortless fluidity. 'I think there are times when we all feel awkward and uncomfortable with ourselves. 'Other times when we find ourselves in our element and everything is easy. 'Walrus remind me that everyone has their own element that makes them shine.' (Photo by Rebecca Jackrel / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
NORDAUSTLANDET, NORWAY - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE An Atlantic Walrus photographed swimming off the coast of Nordaustlandet in Svalbard, Norway. Meet the walruses that could be the most friendly one tonne balls of blubber in the Arctic. Despite the fearsome reputation for dramatic fighting bouts - in the presence of one brave female photographer these walruses with their two foot-long tusks were as good as gold. In one spectacular picture she stands her ground and takes a picture with her underwater camera mounted on a pole just as one of the ten foot-long creatures reared its toothy head into the air. Intrepid Rebecca Jackrel, 40, from San Francisco gamely jumped into one degree Celsius water to join a pair of portly pennipeds - as this type of marine mammal is called. 'I've got a real soft spot for pinnipeds - they are huge and unwieldy on land,' explained Rebecca. 'Yet when they get into the water they manage to dance with effortless fluidity. 'I think there are times when we all feel awkward and uncomfortable with ourselves. 'Other times when we find ourselves in our element and everything is easy. 'Walrus remind me that everyone has their own element that makes them shine.' (Photo by Rebecca Jackrel / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
'Seita,' a male-walrus blows a bubble ring during his performance show at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama on September 7, 2014. The aquarium started the two-month-long autum festival including the walrus performances to attract visitors. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
SVALBARD, NORWAY - MAY 9: Walruses bask in the High Arctic sun in Norway's Svalbard archipelago. (Paul Watson/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
NORDAUSTLANDET, NORWAY - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE A group of Atlantic walrus photographed off the coast of Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway. Meet the walruses that could be the most friendly one tonne balls of blubber in the Arctic. Despite the fearsome reputation for dramatic fighting bouts - in the presence of one brave female photographer these walruses with their two foot-long tusks were as good as gold. In one spectacular picture she stands her ground and takes a picture with her underwater camera mounted on a pole just as one of the ten foot-long creatures reared its toothy head into the air. Intrepid Rebecca Jackrel, 40, from San Francisco gamely jumped into one degree Celsius water to join a pair of portly pennipeds - as this type of marine mammal is called. 'I've got a real soft spot for pinnipeds - they are huge and unwieldy on land,' explained Rebecca. 'Yet when they get into the water they manage to dance with effortless fluidity. 'I think there are times when we all feel awkward and uncomfortable with ourselves. 'Other times when we find ourselves in our element and everything is easy. 'Walrus remind me that everyone has their own element that makes them shine.' (Photo by Rebecca Jackrel / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
E.T., a 3450-pound walrus, swims in the Rocky Shores pool that he shares with two female walruses, Joan and Basilla, at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington on June 13, 2012. E.T., who turned 30 recently, is one of the most popular animals at the zoo. (Janet Jensen/Tacoma News Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
'Pico,' a female-walrus poses as 'The Thinker by Auguste Rodin' during her performance show at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama on September 7, 2014. The aquarium started the two-month-long autum festival including the walrus performances to attract visitors. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
'Seita,' a male-walrus splashes water during his performance show at the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama on September 7, 2014. The aquarium started the two-month-long autum festival including the walrus performances to attract visitors. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
Walrus 'Dyna' looks on in its enclosure in the Hagenbeck animal park in Hamburg, northern Germany, on March 31, 2013. AFP PHOTO / MALTE CHRISTIANS GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read MALTE CHRISTIANS/AFP/Getty Images)
NORDAUSTLANDET, NORWAY - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE A group of Atlantic Walrus photographed in Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway. Meet the walruses that could be the most friendly one tonne balls of blubber in the Arctic. Despite the fearsome reputation for dramatic fighting bouts - in the presence of one brave female photographer these walruses with their two foot-long tusks were as good as gold. In one spectacular picture she stands her ground and takes a picture with her underwater camera mounted on a pole just as one of the ten foot-long creatures reared its toothy head into the air. Intrepid Rebecca Jackrel, 40, from San Francisco gamely jumped into one degree Celsius water to join a pair of portly pennipeds - as this type of marine mammal is called. 'I've got a real soft spot for pinnipeds - they are huge and unwieldy on land,' explained Rebecca. 'Yet when they get into the water they manage to dance with effortless fluidity. 'I think there are times when we all feel awkward and uncomfortable with ourselves. 'Other times when we find ourselves in our element and everything is easy. 'Walrus remind me that everyone has their own element that makes them shine.' (Photo by Rebecca Jackrel / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
NORDAUSTLANDET, NORWAY - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE A female and a calf Atlantic walrus photographed at the coast off Beverlysundet in Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway. Meet the walruses that could be the most friendly one tonne balls of blubber in the Arctic. Despite the fearsome reputation for dramatic fighting bouts - in the presence of one brave female photographer these walruses with their two foot-long tusks were as good as gold. In one spectacular picture she stands her ground and takes a picture with her underwater camera mounted on a pole just as one of the ten foot-long creatures reared its toothy head into the air. Intrepid Rebecca Jackrel, 40, from San Francisco gamely jumped into one degree Celsius water to join a pair of portly pennipeds - as this type of marine mammal is called. 'I've got a real soft spot for pinnipeds - they are huge and unwieldy on land,' explained Rebecca. 'Yet when they get into the water they manage to dance with effortless fluidity. 'I think there are times when we all feel awkward and uncomfortable with ourselves. 'Other times when we find ourselves in our element and everything is easy. 'Walrus remind me that everyone has their own element that makes them shine.' (Photo by Rebecca Jackrel / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
NORDAUSTLANDET, NORWAY - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE An Atlantic Walrus walks along the ocean floor in Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway. Meet the walruses that could be the most friendly one tonne balls of blubber in the Arctic. Despite the fearsome reputation for dramatic fighting bouts - in the presence of one brave female photographer these walruses with their two foot-long tusks were as good as gold. In one spectacular picture she stands her ground and takes a picture with her underwater camera mounted on a pole just as one of the ten foot-long creatures reared its toothy head into the air. Intrepid Rebecca Jackrel, 40, from San Francisco gamely jumped into one degree Celsius water to join a pair of portly pennipeds - as this type of marine mammal is called. 'I've got a real soft spot for pinnipeds - they are huge and unwieldy on land,' explained Rebecca. 'Yet when they get into the water they manage to dance with effortless fluidity. 'I think there are times when we all feel awkward and uncomfortable with ourselves. 'Other times when we find ourselves in our element and everything is easy. 'Walrus remind me that everyone has their own element that makes them shine.' (Photo by Rebecca Jackrel / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
Walrus mother Dyna looks at her two-week old baby during their first public appearance at Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday July 2, 2014. (AP Photo/dpa,Daniel Reinhardt)
This June 2014 released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows Pacific walruses in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. Researchers are trying to get a better handle on the size of the Pacific walrus population ahead of an expected decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on whether the animals need special protections. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
This June 2014 released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows Pacific walruses in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. Researchers are trying to get a better handle on the size of the Pacific walrus population ahead of an expected decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on whether the animals need special protections. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
In this photo released by Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and taken Sunday March 16, 2014, San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh does push ups with Siku, a 1,750 pound female walrus at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif. Harbaugh was visiting the park with his family and they also fed giraffes and elephants and bottle fed a tiger. (AP Photo/Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Nancy Chan)
A California sea lion and a walrus kiss each other during a show at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium-amusement park complex in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
This July 31, 2012 photo provided by the Alaska SeaLife Center shows two of three orphaned walrus calves that are being cared for at the center in Seward, Alaska. The three males are believed to be from the same group of walruses that floated on ice past Barrow, the nation's northernmost city on Alaska's northern coast, on July 17. (AP Photo/Alaska SeaLife Center, Monica Cooper)
This July 31, 2012 photo provided by the Alaska SeaLife Center shows two of three orphaned walrus calves that are being cared for at the center in Seward, Alaska. The three males are believed to be from the same group of walruses that floated on ice past Barrow, the nation's northernmost city on Alaska's northern coast, on July 17. (AP Photo/Alaska SeaLife Center, Monica Cooper)
In this July 17, 2012 photo released by the U.S. Geological Survey, female walruses and their young haul out of the water to rest between foraging dives in the U.S. waters of the Eastern Chukchi Sea in Alaska. The absence of vast swaths of summer sea ice is changing the behavior of Pacific walrus, federal scientists said Wednesday, but more research is needed to say what the final effects might be. (AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey, S.A. Sonsthagen)
This July 17, 2012 photo released by the U.S. Geological Survey shows adult female walruses on an ice floe with their young in the U.S. waters of the Eastern Chukchi Sea in Alaska. The absence of vast swaths of summer sea ice is changing the behavior of Pacific walrus, federal scientists said Wednesday, but more research is needed to say what the final effects might be. (AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey, S.A. Sonsthagen)
A male walrus pokes his tongue out at his trainer during a practice at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium-amusement park complex in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Japan, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
** FILE ** This Friday, Sept. 28, 2007 photo provided by the North Slope Borough shows a young male walrus resting on the beach in Barrow, Alaska. Scientists and conservationists are expressing alarm at the appearance of thousands of walrus on Alaska's northwest coast, a dramatic demonstration of the effects of diminished Arctic sea ice brought on by global warming. (AP Photo/North Slope Borough, Noe Texeira) ** NO SALES **
Sara the walrus and her Russian trainer Sergiy perform during a show at the newly-opened Istanbul Dolphinarium in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)
Sara the walrus and her Russian trainer Sergiy perform during a show at the newly-opened Istanbul Dolphinarium in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)
Sara the walrus and her Russian trainer Sergiy perform during a show at the newly-opened Istanbul Dolphinarium in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)
Zookeeper Mike Bonner, at the Indianapolis Zoo Thursday, June 29, 1995, is overrun by an overly affectionate baby walrus that weighs in at 140 pounds and is in search of the quart of formula it receives five times a day. The two male and two female walruses are the newest marine mammals at the zoo and will go on exhibit Friday, June 30, 1995. When fully grown, the walruses from an island near Alaska will weigh 2,500 pounds. (AP Photo/Chuck Robinson)
U.S. Geological Survey scientists, Dr. Sean Farley, left and Chad Jay, get ready to work with a darted Pacific walrus at Cape Peirce, located in Alaska's Bristol Bay in this 1997 photo . Jay, who is the only scientist at this time doing in-depth research on the Pacific walrus spent two weeks on the walrus haulout attaching transmitters and studying anesthetizing methods. (AP Photo/USGS)
Joan, a female Pacific Walrus, basks in the sun Friday, Nov. 16, 2001 at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago after receiving an afternoon meal of herring and squid. Joan and two other walruses recently returned to the Zoo after spending more than a year at Sea World in Orlando, Fla. while their Chicago habitat was undergoing renovations. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
In this photo provided by the Alaska SeaLife Center, shown is a baby walrus, that was found on a beach in the Alaska village of Kivalina, at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, Tuesday, June 28, 2005. (AP Photo/The Alsaka SeaLife Center, Jason Wettstein)
In this photo provided by the Alaska SeaLife Center, shown is a baby walrus, that was found on a beach in the Alaska village of Kivalina, at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, Tuesday, June 28, 2005. (AP Photo/The Alsaka SeaLife Center, Jason Wettstein)
In this photo provided by the Alaska SeaLife Center, a baby walrus is shown that was found on a beach in the Alaskan village of Kivalina, at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, Tuesday, June 28, 2005. (AP Photo/The Alaska SeaLife Center, Jason Wettstein)
Walruses play with a plastic buoy in a pool at the Tierpark Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany, on September 26, 2013. AFP PHOTO / DPA / CHRISTIAN CHARISIUS / GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read CHRISTIAN CHARISIUS/AFP/Getty Images)
NORDAUSTLANDET, NORWAY - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE An Atlantic walrus photographed on the coast off Lagoya Island in Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway. Meet the walruses that could be the most friendly one tonne balls of blubber in the Arctic. Despite the fearsome reputation for dramatic fighting bouts - in the presence of one brave female photographer these walruses with their two foot-long tusks were as good as gold. In one spectacular picture she stands her ground and takes a picture with her underwater camera mounted on a pole just as one of the ten foot-long creatures reared its toothy head into the air. Intrepid Rebecca Jackrel, 40, from San Francisco gamely jumped into one degree Celsius water to join a pair of portly pennipeds - as this type of marine mammal is called. 'I've got a real soft spot for pinnipeds - they are huge and unwieldy on land,' explained Rebecca. 'Yet when they get into the water they manage to dance with effortless fluidity. 'I think there are times when we all feel awkward and uncomfortable with ourselves. 'Other times when we find ourselves in our element and everything is easy. 'Walrus remind me that everyone has their own element that makes them shine.' (Photo by Rebecca Jackrel / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
NORDAUSTLANDET, NORWAY - UNDATED: EXCLUSIVE One Walrus rests on the back of another off the coast of Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway. Meet the walruses that could be the most friendly one tonne balls of blubber in the Arctic. Despite the fearsome reputation for dramatic fighting bouts - in the presence of one brave female photographer these walruses with their two foot-long tusks were as good as gold. In one spectacular picture she stands her ground and takes a picture with her underwater camera mounted on a pole just as one of the ten foot-long creatures reared its toothy head into the air. Intrepid Rebecca Jackrel, 40, from San Francisco gamely jumped into one degree Celsius water to join a pair of portly pennipeds - as this type of marine mammal is called. 'I've got a real soft spot for pinnipeds - they are huge and unwieldy on land,' explained Rebecca. 'Yet when they get into the water they manage to dance with effortless fluidity. 'I think there are times when we all feel awkward and uncomfortable with ourselves. 'Other times when we find ourselves in our element and everything is easy. 'Walrus remind me that everyone has their own element that makes them shine.' (Photo by Rebecca Jackrel / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


More on AOL.com:
Cause of deadly leak at Texas plant still unknown
NYC police: French tourist scales Brooklyn Bridge
The world may be running out of chocolate

Read Full Story

People are Reading