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Harbor seal spotted in Felton

Courstesy of MERR


A harbor seal was recently seen 12 miles away from the Delaware Bay in Felton.


The seal swam out of the Delaware Bay around Bowers Beach and took the Murderkill River up to the spillway at Coursey Pond in Felton last weekend.



Philomena, as the Marine Education Research and Rehabilitation Institute is calling her, is an adult female harbor seal about 5 feet long. She weighs almost 200 pounds.


MERR Executive Director Suzanne Thurman said it’s not unheard of to see seals in Delaware this time of year. What makes Philomena special is she swam into a public area.


“Because it’s small there, there’s access on both sides of the river and the bridge itself, people were getting a really great view of her,” Thurman said, “and of course she’s beautiful and wonderful to watch.”


Felton resident Chris Lambert was headed toward Milford Saturday morning when he noticed Philomena wiggling across the snow toward the pond.

Credit Chris Lambert
Philomena moves towards the water.

“I didn’t get out of my car,” Lambert said. “I just pulled up and there were some other people that had kind of swerved off the side of the road and were trying to figure out what was in the road and after they swerved around...I stopped and (the seal) kind of kept going across the road into the boat ramp area.”


So he started filming. His video went viral, receiving over 24,000 views on Facebook.


“It was just odd to see a seal that far inland crossing the road,” Lambert said.


Philomena hasn’t been spotted since Sunday, but MERR asks if residents see her, to keep a 150 foot distance. MERR is sending volunteers to look for her throughout the week.