BEVERLY, MASS. (WHDH) - A seal that made its way to a Beverly pond, where its been staying for days, has evaded capture from authorities yet again as it draws crowds of people from the North Shore to come out to see the town’s local seal-ebrity.
The gray seal known as “Shoebert” has been making waves ever since he took up residence a couple of weeks ago in Shoe Pond.
“It’s really like a kid’s book come to life, ‘Free Willy’ has got nothing on Shoebert,” said Shoebert fan Chris Wrenn. “[I] came here with my daughter yesterday and we got to watch him swim around so it’s been a lot of fun.”
It’s unclear how Shoebert got into the upper part of the pond, but many said they think he got into the lower part of the pond during high tide through a tunnel that connects to the harbor.
“I think it’s safe to say it [the seal] will likely not find its way out of this pond,” said Kate Sampson, a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Shoebert’s attraction is becoming a distraction, however, with cars piling up along the road full of families flocking to the pond in hopes of catching a glimpse. Police have been forced to put tape up to keep people away from the protected seal.
“There’s a lot of opportunities for interactions with people that could be dangerous to the seal or people,” said Sampson.
Wildlife crews attempted to capture Shoebert Thursday, but their boats and nets were no match for the clever critter.
“It just didn’t really get within reach,” said Sampson. “There was one time where we could, it was within range and we tried for it but we couldn’t grab it.”
Officials said Shoebert appears to be in good health despite now being in freshwater, but the creature will have to return home once they figure out how to catch him. The people of Beverly are soaking up their last couple of days with Shoebert until then.
“I hope he sticks around a little longer, obviously I want him to be healthy and in a good environment,” said Wrenn.
Officials will head back to the drawing board to figure out how to get Shoebert out of the pond.
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