Cape Elizabeth police ventured into the storm three times to nudge the disobedient seal back toward the ocean.
This wayward, wandering seal was found exploring Cape Elizabeth during Monday's snowstorm and taken back to the water three times by police. Credit: Courtesy of the Cape Elizabeth Police Department

Early Monday morning, around 1:30, a town snowplow driver got a wiggling, whiskered surprise. While clearing snow around Oakhurst Road, he spotted an adventurous seal, making its way up the road, away from the sea.

A multi-hour chase and rescue operation then ensued, with the seal being redirected toward the ocean three times.

After spying the spotted pinniped, the plow driver called for backup. Before long, Cape Elizabeth police Sgt. Jeff Gaudette located the beast resting beside the road in a dangerous spot unsuitable for safe napping.

“[Gaudette] was able to capture the seal and bring it to Fort Williams Park where it was released back into the ocean,” the Cape Elizabeth Police Department said in a Facebook post. “We did not know it at the time, but this seal was committed to his goal of exploring Cape Elizabeth.”

Around 7 a.m., a call came in informing officials that the same seal was on Shore Road.

“Possibly following that delicious scent of Cookie Jar donuts being baked,” the department said, referring to a nearby sweet spot.

Detective Ben Davis then responded, locating the flippered miscreant crossing someone’s lawn on Olde Fort Road. With the help of a private citizen, the officer secured the seal and brought it back to the beach at Fort Williams Park.

“But of course this isn’t the end of the story,” the social media poster went on to write.

About an hour later, the seal was again captured by Davis while it was exploring Fort Williams Park. Again, the blubbery mammal was taken back to the water and encouraged to stay there.

“This time, the seal swam off in search of bigger and better adventures,” the department said on social media.

The seal was found a fourth time, later in the day, and collected by Marine Mammals of Maine. It is now being assessed at their rehab center.

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Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.