A Harbor Seal was spotted near 90th Street on the rocks next to the Hudson River on Thursday. Jane Kenney, who took the photo above, told us the seal appeared to be dead.
Harbor seals have become more frequent visitors to the waters around New York City in the past couple of decades, though it’s still a little startling to see one up close.
“The harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) was once an abundant species in New York harbor, but overhunting, habitat degradation and pollution rendered this large mammal a rare sight for much of the 20th century,” a naturalist wrote in the Times a few years ago. “It is hard to identify a single cause, but by most accounts seal numbers began to rebound in the early 1990s.”