According to NBC Philadelphia, a higher-than-usual number of seals are washing up on New Jersey beaches. What's worse, many of the recently beached seals are starving, sick or infected with parasites, and experts aren't sure why it's happening.
Seal sightings aren't that unusual at the Jersey shore, and it doesn't necessarily mean there's a widespread animal crisis. According to The New Jersey Star-Ledger, officials noticed a seal that had come ashore at Island Beach State Park on Saturday, but before they could determine why it was on dry land, the seal swam away.
But NBC Philadelphia says that the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine has noticed a worrisome uptick in stranded seals -- 107 in 2010 and 26 in the past four months alone.
The good news is that the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, which rescues and cares for stranded critters, reports an 88.9 percent successful release rate for rehabilitated seals, whales and dolphins.
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