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Seal slips back into ocean after sunbathing on third Mass. beach in three days

A baby seal makes its way back into the water after spending time on Wollaston Beach Tuesday morning.
A baby seal makes its way back into the water after spending time on Wollaston Beach Tuesday morning.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

A young gray seal was found sunbathing on Wollaston Beach in Quincy Tuesday morning — the third stop it’s made on a Massachusetts beach since Saturday, officials said.

State Police received a report of a seal on the beach at 8:01 a.m., State Police spokesman David Procopio said.

State Police and officials from the New England Aquarium considered bringing the young seal to the National Marine Life Center on the Cape to make sure it was OK, but the seal had shuffled down the beach and slid back into the water by 9:30 a.m., said Pam Bechtold Snyder, a spokeswoman for the aquarium.

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“It might have just been enjoying the nice weather and relaxing in the sun,” Bechtold Snyder said.

A Massachusetts State Police officer looked after a baby seal on Wollaston Beach.
A Massachusetts State Police officer looked after a baby seal on Wollaston Beach.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

The seal also was found lounging on a beach in Scituate Saturday and on a beach in Winthrop Monday, said Bechtold Snyder.

Resting on beaches is not an uncommon pastime for seals since they are semi-aquatic and can survive out of water, according to the aquarium’s website.

Seals are generally well-tempered, but can become dangerous if they are provoked.

“If you see a seal, stay away and don’t crowd the animal,” Bechtold Snyder said.

She said a seal that was reported on a beach in Duxbury Sunday likely went back into the ocean because of the amount of attention it was getting.

“There were a ton of people on the beach that day because the weather was so nice, and it ended up jumping back into the water probably because it was so annoyed by them,” Bechtold Snyder said.

If you see a seal that is struggling, injured, sick, or dead on a beach between Salem or Plymouth, call the New England Aquarium stranding hotline at 617-973-5427.

If you see a seal in one of these conditions on a beach between Essex and the Maine border, call the Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue 24/7 hotline at 603-997-9448.

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Caroline Enos can be reached at caroline.enos@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.